Bravo to President Barack Obama for finally enumerating a strategy and taking decisive action against ISIS, the radical Islamic terrorists who have been reaping carnage in wide swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory.
Repeated airstrikes on strategic targets in Syria and Iraq have disrupted ISIS’s capabilities and their safe havens. And this was initially done with the aid of a small coalition of Arab Nations – there are now more than 50 nations who have committed to help in the fight against ISIS.
But ISIS continues to advance in Iraq. We cannot expect to “defeat” ISIS from the air alone unless ground troops engage ISIS simultaneously, according to our military leaders.
Some military advisers say that the president’s plan to train, supply, and give logistical support to Syrian rebels and the Iraqi army is ill conceived. These forces are unreliable, their loyalties are questionable, and it will take about a year before they can be deployed.
Given the speed of the advances of ISIS and their unparalleled brutality, there is a sense of urgency to defeat them quickly. We can do that with U.S. troops, but the president has taken that option off the table.
So it looks like a long-term commitment that can take many years. And if we defeat ISIS, what will we do to discourage another terrorist group from emerging? Will we pull out the “troops” and leave another opportunity for radicals to surface.
We have been told that the Khorsan radical Islamic group, operating out of Syria, was almost ready to strike targets in the Western world, including the U.S. So we need a long-term realistic strategy from our president, not one that “kicks the can down the road” for our next commander in chief.
It is ironic that President Obama ran on an anti-war platform for president, but his presidency will ultimately be judged by the war he is now waging to stop the threat of world terrorism. Hopefully, that Nobel peace prize that he was awarded will be earned by real ex post facto deeds.