- The President said 15 months ago that we will “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS
- We are made very little progress
- Warfare restrictions prolong the violence and put our troops at risk
- Results have been indecisive and global instability has increased
- We “poke ineffectively” and therefore prolong suffering
- We need to end ISIS and we have the strength to do it
Our President’s issue isn’t one of strength, it’s one of WILL. We ramped up against ISIS 15 months ago; all of the U.S. involvement in World War 2 was 45 months.
Via The Washington Post:
President Obama announced in September 2014 that he would take military action against the Islamic State to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the organization. It soon became clear that “ultimately” was the operative word in his remarks.
A year later, and the Islamist proto-state has lost territory in some of its core areas, gained territory elsewhere and retained its grip on Mosul in Iraq and its capital of Raqqa, Syria. In recent months, it has launched an international terror campaign and made significant progress expanding operations in Afghanistan and especially in Libya.
To say that the situation is a “stalemate” is a generous assessment, and what is worse, the stalemate is self-imposed. The United States has placed major restrictions on its own conduct of a fight that it nonetheless deems to be necessary, thus prolonging the violence, putting American troops at risk in operations that achieve indecisive results and contributing to global instability. The way we are waging this war is immoral.
As a young Marine officer, I was taught that achieving decisive results in warfare is critical. It even rises to the level of a moral imperative, because — as the Corps’ tactics manual still puts the matter — “An indecisive battle wastes the lives of those who fight and die in it. It wastes the efforts of those who survive it as well. All the costs … are suffered for little gain.” But the counter-Islamic State campaign generates little besides indecisive clashes.
The administration defends the slow pace of progress by insisting that the ground fight against the Islamic State must be waged by local forces. The U.S. military has also imposed strict rules of engagement to limit civilian casualties and minimize environmental damage. These are defensible goals, but ones that have slowed the campaign’s progress to a degree that outweighs their good intentions.
Read more here…