Violent Jihad

Quit Playing Around With ISIS

Give our warfighters the tools and numbers they need to finish this.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | April 25, 2016

US President Barack Obama said Monday in Germany that he was going to increase the size of America’s special operations component facing the Islamic State (ISIS) by sending six times as many as he has sent to date.  Unfortunately, he has only sent fifty so far.  Raising the number from fifty to three hundred, while a step in the right direction, is insufficient to the scale of the problem.

The President seems to be falling in on the tribal engagement strategy proposed in Cut Down the Black Flag:  A Plan to Defeat the Islamic State.  Unfortunately, he is doing so by fits and starts rather than in a committed and serious way.  He is also failing to prepare the political and diplomatic support without which no end to the conflict can be in sight.  Ultimately neither the Kurds nor the Sunni allies he is using these Special Forces to train and support are going to agree to a settlement under which they are asked to submit to a central government in Baghdad controlled by Iran.

Far from doing the right thing to support this strategy, the President seems intent on doing all the wrong things.  Instead of preparing the groundwork for some form of autonomy for the Kurds and Sunnis, he is doing his best to signal to Iran that he will not get in the way of their strategy to rule from Afghanistan to the Levant.

At the same time, he and his State Department are turning a blind eye to Turkey’s campaign of starvation aimed at Kurdish villages within their territory.  John F. Kerry says that the Assad regime is guilty of war crimes for denying food to villages for political reasons.  When our Turkish “ally” does the same thing to the Kurds, he says nothing.  These are war crimes too.  More, they are war crimes that harm our campaign against the Islamic State.  The Turkish campaign against the Kurds is providing de facto support for ISIS.

These failures prevent the hope of a real end to the war.  The conflict cannot end unless there are forces who can both defeat ISIS and also control the region afterwards.  Such forces cannot be proxies of Iran or its proxy government in Baghdad or those forces will not be seen as legitimate by the population of the region.  Ending the caliphate is job one, but the civil war will continue unless we are prepared to support a just settlement for our tribal allies.  It was President Obama’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq and support for its “Shia strongman” that undermined the settlement our military painstakingly crafted during the Surge.  This time we will have to overcome the suspicion that will attach to the fact that our government walked away from its commitments the last time.  We cannot do that while we are supporting Turkish “allies” who are bombing and starving the Kurds, nor while we are acting to enable Iran’s moves to extend its shadow across the Levant.



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