If Obama’s “Strategy” against the ISLAMIC State is to be not-Bush, maybe I can articulate mine as being not-insane.
Like telling ISIS “Don’t worry about boots on the grounds, jihadis. Ain’t gonna happen.” I’d keep that to myself.
The problem is that the strategy — to provide logistical support for Iraqi forces, limited air strikes, and a strong Free Syrian Army — is a foolish strategy that is unlikely to succeed.
The president’s strategy calls for U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in support of Iraqi army forces and the Free Syrian Army rebels who are fighting the Islamic State on the ground. Obama made it clear that the U.S. military commitment will be limited to air strikes, as he will not order U.S. ground forces into either Iraq or Syria.
Instead of ground forces, however, the president said that the United States will increase training and logistical support for those armies on the ground, but herein lies a critical flaw: The Iraqis have not proven to be a reliable partner in the war on terrorism. And this, despite ten years of U.S. military training and equipment provided by the United States.
In Iraq, the Islamic State has swept Iraqi forces in a number of recent engagements, with many Iraqi units simply abandoning their posts and refusing to fight. This problem is not one that can be solved through additional training. Even with the added power and confidence-boost of air strikes, a root issue is sectarianism. On a number of occasions, the Iraqi army failed to fight the Islamic State not simply because of bad officers and cowardice: Sunni units simply did not want to fight fellow Sunnis, even if they were extremists.
Okay, so after Obama abandoned Iraq, their military resolve suffered a tad. But in Syria, they don’t care whom they fight as long as they fight. Surely, they can be counted on.
Don’t call me Shirley:
In Syria, our other alleged ally, the Free Syrian Army, is fighting not only the Islamic State, but the Syrian army. And here’s a problem with arming them: It is strictly against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s interest to allow the Free Syrian Army to become strong enough even to challenge the Islamic State, because that would also increase the risk to his regime.
Given the ruthlessness of his previous moves, it is likely that Assad will continue to order military attacks against the Free Syrian Army rebels at the same time that the United States is trying to build up the capacity of the Free Syrian Army to serve as the ground force component of the Syrian campaign of Obama’s new strategy. And under those conditions, it will be very difficult for the Free Syrian Army to succeed. This obstacle could require the United States to further expand its mission to include attacking the Syrian army in order to allow the Free Syrian Army to combat the Islamic State.
Well, that sounds like a cluster.
But let’s not be unnecessarily critical. Go ahead and blast ISIS from the sky, Mr. President. Light ‘em up. We’ll just hold you to what you said (unlike the press).
PS: The “no boots on the ground” promise was not meant to assure ISIS, but the Democrat moonbat base. If one can tell the difference.