An excerpt from this article on August 1, 2014 at Jerusalem Online:
Retired US Brigadier General Ernie Audino believes that more comprehensive US military action is needed in order to eliminate the ISIS threat. “A few airstrikes don’t win wars,” he stated. He believes that an independent Kurdistan is the best buffer against the spread of radical Islam in the region.
Retired US Brigadier General Ernie Audino, who received his master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the National War College and studied Kurdish history in depth under Ambassador Peter Galbraith, used to live with the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan: “We lived with them and operated with them on the battlefield. They treated us like real brothers. It remains a fact that no American has ever been killed by enemy hand in any Kurdish-controlled area.”
“Today, Kurdistan is the most peaceful, most democratic and most prosperous region in Iraq,” he stressed. “It’s certainly not perfect, but there are very likely more businesses, schools, soccer fields, art galleries, modern housing developments and independent news organizations in the Kurdish region than there are in any other region of Iraq. I watched the Kurds strive to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. They have clearly dusted themselves off and risen from the ashes.”
Read the rest here.
More, from an August 3, 2014 interview Gen. Audino gave to BAS News (Kurdish region of Iraq)
BasNews: How did you become so close to the Kurds and their cause?
Ernie Audino: I began studying Kurdish issues and Kurdish history at the US National War College in 2002-2003. My professor was a man very well known to the Kurds, Ambassador Peter Galbraith.
More than anything else, his example sparked my academic interest, and the Kurds themselves, their history and their current situation have held my interest ever since. A couple of years after my graduation from the War College the US Army embedded me and my teams in the peshmerga. For a year we lived with Kak Anwar Dolani’s brigade based in Sulaymaniyah.
I regard that assignment as one of the most significant missions of my military career. I am forever grateful for the privilege to have served with the Peshmerga and the Kurds. Frankly, that year changed the second half of my life.
Read the rest here.