ISIS: Our Non-Strategy and Our Too-Calm Republican Candidates

 

screenshot 2015-03-17 12.38.59I was flabbergasted to read this morning that we are “embracing a new approach” in the battle against ISIS:

In a major shift of focus in the battle against the Islamic State, the Obama administration is planning to establish a new military base in Anbar Province and send 400 American military trainers to help Iraqi forces retake the city of Ramadi.

Point 1: With all respect to our highly accomplished and experienced men and women in uniform, at this point a force of 400 military trainers in Anbar Province should properly be described as “next month’s hostages.” How could anyone of even cursory familiarity with this region — or the history of warfare, for that matter — fail to think of that immediately?

Point 2: No one in his or her right mind would think air power alone a sufficient tool to defeat the Islamic State. But nor would one in his or her right mind think a near-complete failure to use air power the tool of choice, either. As retired Air Force general David A. Deptula notes, we’re now averaging 12 strike sorties per day:

During Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991, the average was 1,241; in Operation Allied Force in Kosovo in 1999, it was 298; in the first 30 days of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, 691; during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001, 86.

These mishagas stories about sandstorms holding us back? We have sensors that can readily penetrate fog and sandstorms; and I can’t be the only one who knows this. We’ve used not a single Reaper drone. Not one. I can’t begin to imagine what we’re thinking: We’re planning to send 400 “advisers” into Anbar without so much as a hint that we’ll even offer them air cover when ISIS decides they’ll make a tasty afternoon snack?

Point 3: It would take me far too long to enumerate all of ISIS’s latest advances and atrocities, but among the highlights: In Libya, they just ambushed a vehicle traveling to Tripoli, taking hostage 88 Eritrean refugees. These include women, children, and an unspecified number of Christians who will surely meet the fate of the 28 Ethiopian Christian they took hostage two months ago. Teenage girls abducted by fighters in Iraq and Syria are being sold in slave markets ‘for as little as a pack of cigarettes,’” the UN envoy on sexual violence reported on Monday:

Bangura described the ordeal of several teenage girls, many of whom were part of the Yazidi minority targeted by the jihadists.

“Some were taken, locked up in a room — over 100 of them in a small house — stripped naked and washed.”

They were then made to stand in front of a group of men who decided “what you are worth”.

Bangura gave the account of a 15-year-old girl who was sold to an Isis leader, a sheikh aged in his 50s, who showed her a gun and a stick and asked her “tell me what you want”.

“She said ‘the gun’ and he replied: ‘I didn’t buy you so that you could kill yourself’,” before raping her, Bangura said.

Abducting girls has become a key part of the Isis strategy to recruit foreign fighters who have been travelling to Iraq and Syria in record numbers over the last 18 months.

“This is how they attract young men: we have women waiting for you, virgins that you can marry,” Bangura said. “The foreign fighters are the backbone of the fighting.”

Meanwhile, as we meditate thoughtfully on the entirely atypical and unexpected phenomenon of sandstorms in the desert and count the hapless prospective hostages we might usefully send to Anbar, ISIS staged attacks in Amariya al Falluja. That means they’re now about 37 miles southwest of Baghdad. They also attacked Surt, capturing a critical power plant on the coastal road to Misurata. That means they can shut off the power in central and Western Libya. The Kurds — our great hope, remember them? — are reportedly beginning to panic:

The Kurds desperately need an influx of arms and supplies in order to be able to continue to hold their 600-mile long border against ISIS attacks.

The need for weapons has only increased over the past months as the militant group has effectively plundered Iraqi military bases after overrunning cities, Yaroslav Trofimov reports from Kurdish-controlled areas for The Wall Street Journal. 

“Peshmerga ammunition stocks are running low and whatever heavy weapons they have are mostly of Saddam Hussein-era vintage,” Trofimov reports, citing Peshmerga commanders. Currently, Kurdish lines throughout Iraq consist of defenses manned by Peshmerga troops armed with outdated weapons with dwindling supplies of ammunition.

And although the Peshmerga have put up an effective defense since being driven back by an ISIS offensive last summer, their positions could be easily overrun should ISIS launch a concentrated assault.

“If ISIS combines its forces and pushes into one area with multiple vehicles, they will break through — and then the whole line breaks,” Jamestown Foundation analyst Wladimir van Wilgenburg told The Journal.

This concern is especially true should ISIS launch a suicide blitz like it has done previously in Ramadi and Mosul. On those occasions, the militants overwhelmed well-defended static Iraqi defensive positions through waves of suicide car bombings that demoralized and ultimately drove back the Iraqi forces.

Point 4: In the Further Annals of the Fastest Imperial Decline in the Recorded History of Humanity, Obama boldly announced last Monday at the G7 Summit in Germany that the United States does not yet have a “complete strategy” for training Iraqi security forces to reconquer territory seized by Islamic State fighters. (Yes, we know — that much is clear to the whole world, I assure you. Why it was necessary to say the obvious, I have no idea.) However, the White House has come up with this ingenious alternative to a strategy: As NPR cheerfully reports, “the Obama administration has turned to a group of social media experts — millennials.” No, I kid you not. Our millennials. The ones who still haven’t left their parents’ basements. They are, apparently,

… supposed to create an initiative or product or tool that will challenge violent extremism. Think of it as…

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

TEMPLE-RASTON: “Mad Men” meets millennials.

SGRO: “Mad Men” did not have the tech savviness that we have with Gen Z and Gen Y. So it’s even uber “Mad Men.”

TEMPLE-RASTON: And yesterday was pitch day at the State Department.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STORROW: I’m now going to introduce the judges.

TEMPLE-RASTON: The judges weren’t just State Department officials. They included television and broadcast executives, terrorism experts and academics. And they sat facing the teams on stage like judges from “American Idol.” Mount Royal University from Calgary, Canada, was the first to make its pitch.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KADE GRANT-JOHANSEN: Violent extremism is the most compelling issue of our generation.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That’s Kade Grant-Johansen, a marketing and management major from Mount Royal. This group decided to start a prevention campaign called the WANT Movement. WANT stands for We Are Not Them. Patty Derbyshire was the faculty adviser.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDERS: 52 JUMAA is an interactive app which enhances personal identity, social interaction and community spirit.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That’s one of the international team members laying out the program.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) …

ANDERS: This app mobilizes positive behavior among communities of young Muslims.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Show gratitude by making tea for your mother. Show generosity by feeding a homeless person. The idea is to provide positive reinforcement. And, finally, there was Missouri State University. It had an ambitious program that aimed to unite the world against violent extremism called ONE95.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ONE95 is a digital platform for starting initiatives and receiving support.

TEMPLE-RASTON: It has a social media component, curriculum for teachers and created the hashtag #EndViolentExtremism.

Think I made that up? I wish. I couldn’t, even. Go listen for yourself.

So clearly we can say that for reasons known only to God and this Administration, Obama has no serious interest at all in repelling ISIS’s advances. Fine. We’ve got No-Drama Elagabalus in the White House.

But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this? I don’t mean screaming about whose fault this is. I mean screaming the way reading the paragraphs above would make any sane person scream — no less one who proposes to become the Commander-in-Chief of the United States military and the leader of the Free World on his first day on the job.

Do you get this?

Update: The Independent is now reporting that according to Australian intelligence reports, ISIS has now seized enough radioactive material to build a devastating dirty bomb. The news just gets better by the minute.

Published in Foreign Policy, General
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  1. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Believe me, it greatly pains me to respond to Claire in the way I have, considering I was a big supporter of the Iraq war throughout GWB’s presidency. At the same time, though, GWB and Congress in 2005 developed a pretty good contingency should major problems with Iraq arise (which they of course did).

    It’s something called the Halliburton Rule (DUN, DUN, DUNNNN!). This rule was greatly responsible for the continued commercial success of something called Horizontal Fracturing (fracking, in the common vernacular). Result of said fracking: US Oil Production has now reached the previous 1970 peak, and combined with gas fracking, the US is now able to meet 90% of its energy needs through domestic production.

    This buys this nation some time and patience in how to handle any and all future adverse developments in the M.E. And I’m reasonably certain Obama and his fellow Progressives have at least a rudimentary understanding, and thus a headstart, regarding this.

    • #61
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Arizona Patriot:As much as I’d like to see the US military crush these ISIS savages, in the big picture, ISIS does not appear to be much of a threat to the US or its vital interests. They are not going to topple the Saudis or the Iranians. The oil will continue to flow. There don’t seem to be any real “good guys” in the region anyway, so it’s hard to see who we should back.

    Introducing a small, vulnerable American ground force into the region to be killed or held hostage by the other side is a good way to turn this into a situation that demands action.

    • #62
  3. user_278007 Inactive
    user_278007
    @RichardFulmer

    It’s time to get serious, people.  Forget all this iPhone app garbage.  We’ve got to launch brigades of mattress-carrying college co-eds against ISIS, and we’ve got to launch them now!

    • #63
  4. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Well, Lindsey Graham is screaming.

    But part of it is that, if you’re running to take office in a year and a half, you do not want to limit your options in any way.  The political and strategic situations are too fluid.

    • #64
  5. MikeHs Inactive
    MikeHs
    @MikeHs

    These guys could have handled ISIS. Not sure anyone (in this administration) can today.

    PattonWaits3

    • #65
  6. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Brad2971:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Brad2971:

    And just that mere fact insulates the USA from any limits regarding when to send soldiers and Marines?

    No, it suggests to me that we should be more than able to give rise to great leadership.

    What if the rest of the world is perfectly OK with the US “leading from behind” (in that nasty Obama vernacular)?

    The rest of the world doesn’t get to direct US foreign policy.

    • #66
  7. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Zafar:

    Claire Berlinski:But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this?

    Because sending the US Army back into Iraq is unpopular in the US and the candidates are (electioneering) politicians.

    Iow: because enough of you are not demanding a coherent response from them.

    There is a lot to this Zafar.  Part of it is that the American People don’t trust the political class not to mess this up and rather than see more of their sons and (now) daughters die in the Middle East, they’d rather stay out of it.  I can’t say I blame them.

    • #67
  8. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    MLH:

    Zafar:

    Claire Berlinski:But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this?

    Because sending the US Army back into Iraq is unpopular in the US and the candidates are (electioneering) politicians.

    Iow: because enough of you are not demanding a coherent response from them.

    Although a bet a bunch of our warriors are will to go and kick som. .. but even then ROE and all.

    You hit the nail on the head, I think, Zafar. We are much more worried about Caitlyn’s ego/feelings.

    The Caitlyn thing is just nonsense, at least from a Conservative standpoint.  Sure you are correct if you are talking about the lobotomized Left but there is still another half of the country who aren’t totally zombified yet.  I think your mentioning of ROE is more of an obstacle to getting support than Caitlyn.  Who wants to send loved ones over there to die when we all know that our armed forces won’t be allowed to fight back because our Commander in Chief has a chip on his shoulder about this country?

    • #68
  9. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Capt. Aubrey:It will probably take a hostage crisis or some such headliner atrocity to our attention and they probably know that too so they will probably avoid it for a little while longer.

    You mean the ones that have occurred weren’t enough?  We’ve had a Jordanian pilot burned alive and posted to Youtube, countless Christians killed either in North Africa or in Syria, and an American–if not a couple–beheaded at the hands of these barbarians.  I don’t think it’s headliner atrocities holding us back, unless you are looking for the fall of a capitol somewhere, I don’t know.

    • #69
  10. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Max Ledoux:

    Brad2971:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Brad2971:

    And just that mere fact insulates the USA from any limits regarding when to send soldiers and Marines?

    No, it suggests to me that we should be more than able to give rise to great leadership.

    What if the rest of the world is perfectly OK with the US “leading from behind” (in that nasty Obama vernacular)?

    The rest of the world doesn’t get to direct US foreign policy.

    Maybe not in the past, but what about in the Age of Obama?  I don’t think some of you realize that our weakness on the world stage was part of his transforming of the United States.

    • #70
  11. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Max Ledoux:

    Brad2971:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Brad2971:

    And just that mere fact insulates the USA from any limits regarding when to send soldiers and Marines?

    No, it suggests to me that we should be more than able to give rise to great leadership.

    What if the rest of the world is perfectly OK with the US “leading from behind” (in that nasty Obama vernacular)?

    The rest of the world doesn’t get to direct US foreign policy.

    Actually, they do, at least until we get a new President.  The present one has surrendered American foreign policy to the UN.  Which is to say, to Russia and the PRC.

    Eric Hines

    • #71
  12. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Claire Berlinski:

    BThompson:

    do you think we have anyone on the GOP side that is better than Churchill?

    No, I don’t, but that’s my complaint. And I don’t see why we find it so natural that this should be so.

    Claire, I hate to break it to you but look at our culture.  Can you find for me anywhere in our culture where the leadership that is needed right now is NOT being ridiculed into submission or pointed to as an example of cis-white-male-dominant bigotry?  I’m not saying this is the thinking of much of the American People, but you have to keep in mind the avenue through which our presidential candidates have to propagate their message.  This avenue is not conducive to white males (and sorry Rubio and Fiorina are white males to them because they are Republicans) trying to militarily subjugate an area populated by non-white people.  To some extent our candidates are scared of what will be said about them and how they will be characterized.  Otherwise I find it hard to believe that Rubio, Cruz, or Walker–after all of the leadership these three have shown in other areas–couldn’t be our Churchill regarding ISIL.  It just doesn’t jive with me unless you look at it through the lens of apprehension about the media.

    • #72
  13. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Robert McReynolds:

    Claire Berlinski:

    BThompson:

    do you think we have anyone on the GOP side that is better than Churchill?

    No, I don’t, but that’s my complaint. And I don’t see why we find it so natural that this should be so.

    Claire, I hate to break it to you but look at our culture. Can you find for me anywhere in our culture where the leadership that is needed right now is NOT being ridiculed into submission or pointed to as an example of cis-white-male-dominant bigotry? I’m not saying this is the thinking of much of the American People, but you have to keep in mind the avenue through which our presidential candidates have to propagate their message. This avenue is not conducive to white males (and sorry Rubio and Fiorina are white males to them because they are Republicans) trying to militarily subjugate an area populated by non-white people. To some extent our candidates are scared of what will be said about them and how they will be characterized. Otherwise I find it hard to believe that Rubio, Cruz, or Walker–after all of the leadership these three have shown in other areas–couldn’t be our Churchill regarding ISIL. It just doesn’t jive with me unless you look at it through the lens of apprehension about the media.

    I’m not truly disagreeing. I’m expressing astonishment that we’ve so quickly found ourselves in a situation in which it is not politically advantageous to display leadership–in a leadership contest.

    • #73
  14. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Claire Berlinski:I’m not truly disagreeing. I’m expressing astonishment that we’ve so quickly found ourselves in a situation in which it is not politically advantageous to display leadership–in a leadership contest.

    I certainly sympathize with what you are saying, and I would wager that many of our top candidates do as well.  One hunch is that they are biding their time, that they know Hilldabeast won’t be the next president and that one of them will.  And that which ever one it is will be able to do something about ISIL.  At least that is my hope.  For now, you have to conclude that our candidates don’t want to “Todd Aiken” themselves with regard to ISIL.  I don’t know how they could possibly do something like that regarding ISIL, but we are dealing a media populated with folks who hate this country and will do nothing but sabotage any attempt to protect it.  Frankly, our biggest threat is the Left in this country, not ISIL.

    • #74
  15. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Max Ledoux:

    Brad2971:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Brad2971:

    And just that mere fact insulates the USA from any limits regarding when to send soldiers and Marines?

    No, it suggests to me that we should be more than able to give rise to great leadership.

    What if the rest of the world is perfectly OK with the US “leading from behind” (in that nasty Obama vernacular)?

    The rest of the world doesn’t get to direct US foreign policy.

    No, but the rest of the world can put up barriers against the current tendency of the US to utilize the military as a tool of foreign policy. Vladimir Putin has, arguably, done an excellent job of erecting such barriers, and Claire has (more or less) acknowledged such.

    • #75
  16. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Robert McReynolds:

    Capt. Aubrey:It will probably take a hostage crisis or some such headliner atrocity to our attention and they probably know that too so they will probably avoid it for a little while longer.

    You mean the ones that have occurred weren’t enough? We’ve had a Jordanian pilot burned alive and posted to Youtube, countless Christians killed either in North Africa or in Syria, and an American–if not a couple–beheaded at the hands of these barbarians. I don’t think it’s headliner atrocities holding us back, unless you are looking for the fall of a capitol somewhere, I don’t know.

    Oh, there are plenty of visible things that can be done to the US between what’s already happened at the hands of ISIS and, say, 9/11.

    • #76
  17. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    I can’t believe the number of people here and elsewhere who think it’s sufficient to say, “hey, it’s their problem. We should stay out of it.”

    This is foolhardy in the extreme. The middle east is vital to the global economy. ISIS is a terrorist organization, and terrorists can move across oceans in ways armies can’t. By ignoring these threats, the U.S. is projecting weakness, and that is being exploited by China, Russia, and other bad actors. By abandoning allies around the world, the U.S. is sending a signal that it is an untrustworthy friend, and that is going to cause other countries to move into the Chinese and Russian sphere of influences.

    If the U.S. continues down this path of isolationism, eventually one of these bad actors will cross a line that cannot be ignored. When that happens, the reslting war will be much, much worse than the result of taking action now, which will be much much worse than taking action a year or two ago would have been.

    Every day that this problem is ignored is going to result in an increased loss of life and treasure when the inevitable conflict reaches us.

    Obama should be telling his generals that he wants a plan to smash ISIS quickly and decisively, and he should not be putting conditions on that plan until it’s developed and can be evaluated. If the only way to do it is to put 20,000 soldiers into combat on the ground, then that’s what has to be done.

    My fear is that the military has been purged of the great generals and they have been replaced with political generals and yes-men who will spend more time figuring out how to shape a strategy that will please Obama than on one that will displease ISIS.

    • #77
  18. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @FrontSeatCat

    The seriousness of this goes across all areas: 1. Major humanitarian crisis that includes rape, murder, torture- humans beings with nowhere to go once the town or country is seized – unspeakable crimes against humanity taking place. 2. Major gateways to pumping and exporting oil which fuels the world! 3. Ancient history, museums, major archaeological sites, religious tombs, being decimated. 4. Ethnic cleansing on a major scale – churches burned, thousands of years of holy history being destroyed from all major religions 5. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons falling into their arsenal – this is just the headlines.  Is this not enough??They have sights set on US, Israel and Europe – they’ve said so!… and NO Outcry from every major civilized country banning together to stop this evil?

    You don’t think it is coming here for awhile? Think again – they’re here – crossing our and Europe’s porous borders blending with refugees that are fleeing their misery. Terror material and Korans have been found at Mexican border. The cries from ME for help are falling on deaf ears – did we not learn anything from the Holocaust? I am embarrassed and angry at this administration, including the pathetic GOP now in place. Worthless – I cannot rationalize the lack of a united voice here – American and worldwide. Not to mention the shifty trade policy no one knows anything about now called Fast Trade? The Republicans have gone silent and are following orders. I can’t make sense of any of it – too scary.

    • #78
  19. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    billy:

    Claire Berlinski:

    BThompson:

    do you think we have anyone on the GOP side that is better than Churchill?

    No, I don’t, but that’s my complaint. And I don’t see why we find it so natural that this should be so.

    The GOP candidates aren’t speaking out about our lack of response to ISIS because the American people don’t want to respond to ISIS.

    That is the way things are now.

    I don’t believe polling data supports that statement.  Not that I want foreign policy decided by polls but the majority of Americans not only want to respond but since February they have been in favor of sending ground troops.  What matters however is what the President wants to do.  The only reason he is even talking about it is because Americans want something done.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/do-americans-want-to-send-ground-troops-to-fight-isis/

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/04/Most-Americans-Want-Obama-Send-Ground-Troops-Battle-ISIS

    • #79
  20. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Claire Berlinski:

    Robert McReynolds:

    Claire Berlinski:

    BThompson:

    do you think we have anyone on the GOP side that is better than Churchill?

    No, I don’t, but that’s my complaint. And I don’t see why we find it so natural that this should be so.

    Claire, I hate to break it to you but look at our culture. Can you find for me anywhere in our culture where the leadership that is needed right now is NOT being ridiculed into submission or pointed to as an example of cis-white-male-dominant bigotry? I’m not saying this is the thinking of much of the American People, but you have to keep in mind the avenue through which our presidential candidates have to propagate their message. This avenue is not conducive to white males (and sorry Rubio and Fiorina are white males to them because they are Republicans) trying to militarily subjugate an area populated by non-white people. To some extent our candidates are scared of what will be said about them and how they will be characterized. Otherwise I find it hard to believe that Rubio, Cruz, or Walker–after all of the leadership these three have shown in other areas–couldn’t be our Churchill regarding ISIL. It just doesn’t jive with me unless you look at it through the lens of apprehension about the media.

    I’m not truly disagreeing. I’m expressing astonishment that we’ve so quickly found ourselves in a situation in which it is not politically advantageous to display leadership–in a leadership contest.

    Rick Perry.  If he wants to stand out from the pack this seems like the perfect opportunity, especially since he seems to be emphasizing his military background.

    • #80
  21. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Guys I can sum this up for you really quickly, particularly the question about why there isn’t a unified message from the West regarding ISIL.  The foreign policy elites on either side of the Atlantic do not (have not) view(ed) any jihadist group as a real threat.  They have always said that we overreacted to 9/11 and furthermore think the current ISIL problem is our creation anyway.  That sentiment is especially felt among the European elite.  Our own elites think of jihadism as nothing more than a law enforcement issue and that goes back to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid, if not longer.

    Many of you guys are searching for military answers when the real question is cultural.  We all know that if the US military was unleashed, that ISIL would be rolled up in at most a month.  But what would that entail?  It would involve doing things that culturally the West just does not have the stomach for any longer.  We have a collective bunch of Pajama Boys running our foreign policy, with the King Pajama Boy are Commander in Chief, and you guys expect us to have a hard hitting military solution for ISIL?  Just look at what happened this past week with the G-7 summit.  Climate change, really?  That’s what the leaders of the Western world met over?  Our elites think we are all hysterical kooks because they are protected from whatever hell can be unleashed.

    • #81
  22. user_656019 Coolidge
    user_656019
    @RayKujawa

    Jack Bauer, where are you?

    • #82
  23. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Concretevol:Rick [redacted] Perry. If he wants to stand out from the pack this seems like the perfect opportunity, especially since he seems to be emphasizing his military background.

    Last time I looked, in a Time article, Rick [redacted] Perry’s plan wasn’t much different than Obama’s.  Now granted things could have changed between then and now, but the last thing he put to paper was air strikes and more cooperation with states in the region.  So what else do you have?

    • #83
  24. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Front Seat Cat:The seriousness of this goes across all areas: 1. Major humanitarian crisis that includes rape, murder, torture- humans beings with nowhere to go once the town or country is seized – unspeakable crimes against humanity taking place. 2. Major gateways to pumping and exporting oil which fuels the world! 3. Ancient history, museums, major archaeological sites, religious tombs, being decimated. 4. Ethnic cleansing on a major scale – churches burned, thousands of years of holy history being destroyed from all major religions 5. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons falling into their arsenal – this is just the headlines. Is this not enough??They have sights set on US, Israel and Europe – they’ve said so!… and NO Outcry from every major civilized country banning together to stop this evil?

    You don’t think it is coming here for awhile? Think again – they’re here – crossing our and Europe’s porous borders blending with refugees that are fleeing their misery. Terror material and Korans have been found at Mexican border. The cries from ME for help are falling on deaf ears – did we not learn anything from the Holocaust? I am embarrassed and angry at this administration, including the pathetic GOP now in place. Worthless – I cannot rationalize the lack of a united voice here – American and worldwide. Not to mention the shifty trade policy no one knows anything about now called Fast Trade? The Republicans have gone silent and are following orders. I can’t make sense of any of it – too scary.

    Agree completely with every word.

    • #84
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Claire Berlinski: I was flabbergasted to read this morning that we are “embracing a new approach” in the battle against ISIS:

    One of the bad things about this is that it is referred to as “embracing a new approach.”  (I assume the NYT wouldn’t use that terminology without being fed it from the WH, or at least without WH approval.)  It suggests a certain muddleheadedness about goals.  It suggests that somebody in the administration said, “Yeah, let’s try that for a while, even if we’re not sure why.”

    If the WH wanted to fake an air of confidence, determination, and purpose, it would not let the NYT say things like “embracing a new approach” and “major shift of focus.”

    • #85
  26. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Robert McReynolds:

    Concretevol:Rick [redacted] Perry. If he wants to stand out from the pack this seems like the perfect opportunity, especially since he seems to be emphasizing his military background.

    Last time I looked, in a Time article, Rick [redacted] Perry’s plan wasn’t much different than Obama’s. Now granted things could have changed between then and now, but the last thing he put to paper was air strikes and more cooperation with states in the region. So what else do you have?

    Rubio?  He has a speedboat?  :)

    My point is it’s a good opportunity for Perry to establish himself as the mature foreign policy candidate.  He doesn’t need to be more hawkish than Lindsey Graham, the “Bomb everyone” candidate, but I want to see exactly how much Perry has developed an overall vision about foreign policy as well as specifics.  We have been completely adrift without any comprehensive foreign policy for this entire administration and the world is paying for it.

    • #86
  27. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    And quite saying “ISIL” Robert!  It’s freaking ISIS.  The only ones who say it are you and the administration.  :)

    • #87
  28. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Concretevol:And quite saying “ISIL” Robert! It’s freaking ISIS. The only ones who say it are you and the administration. :)

    Don’t they call themselves ISIL?

    Someday they’ll all be Caitlyn.

    • #88
  29. user_1032405 Coolidge
    user_1032405
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Larry3435:Go in with overwhelming force. Kill everyone standing under an ISIS flag. Blow up all of their equipment. Destroy their headquarters. Kill their commanders. Then get out. It will take less than a week.

    Larry – great intent, and I agree with the thought. The problem is that it can’t be done in a week. It would take 100% of the available USAF’s airlift capacity and 96 hours to deploy one Stryker-equipped Brigade combat team, (assuming a secure airfield). That’s a combat force of about 3,500 gunfighters, mounted in armored wheeled vehicles. No tanks, no heavy artillery (towed 155’s and 4.2″ mortars only). Lethal? Definitely. Tough and motivated to kick-ass? Absolutely. Enough to lay waste, destroy ISIL, blow-up all their stuff in a week? No way.

    A military campaign to decisively defeat ISIL as a coherent force is fully possible, but it can’t be done cheap, it can’t be done in secret, and it would require a national effort on the order of World War II to achieve. Claire’s point is spot on: There are no Republicans currently running who are telling the truth to the American people of what will have to be done to defeat ISIL. Sadly this goes back to G.W. Bush, who never (ever) expressed a clear vision of VICTORY. Obama has merely skulked around the issue, ignoring it because it doesn’t fit into his worldview.

    • #89
  30. user_1032405 Coolidge
    user_1032405
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Tommy De Seno:

    Concretevol:And quite saying “ISIL” Robert! It’s freaking ISIS. The only ones who say it are you and the administration. :)

    Don’t they call themselves ISIL?

    Someday they’ll all be Caitlyn.

    Just because the Obama Administration says it doesn’t make it wrong, although you can be forgiven for thinking so (that is usually a very safe assumption.)

    I call them “ISIL” because it is more accurate (regional identity, vice a specific nation-state). Their objectives are not defined by, or limited to, Syria or Iraq. “ISIS” suggests that this a threat bound by arbitrary lines drawn on a map.

    • #90
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