Mark Preston, CNN, provides a story today describing the outcome of a poll that says Americans want to fight ISIS but not with our troops on the ground. That is obvious. The question for military planners and experts is how can they achieve victory most efficiently with less exposure?
First, what is victory? Second, where is victory? Third, specifically what are we fighting for?
- ISIS is crushed from viability as a terrorist organization everywhere in the Middle East.
- ISIS is removed from Iraq
- ISIS is removed from Syria
But, that is not all that we are fighting to accomplish. The broad and comprehensive Middle East foreign policy aims at transforming the region from being Islamist-led autocracies to pluralistic democracies. That requires massive social change that is possible only when there is a better sustainable economic solution. Economic sustainability is possible only when the citizens of the region embrace the free world and sovereign identity that is independent from religion. It can happen only when political leadership is competent to help lead and engineer economic sustainability.
The news from Afghanistan today is that is what their new president wants to accomplish. His shortcoming is failing to address social and political impediments to that end. He cannot accomplish his aims to transform the Afghanistan economy by continuing to try to negotiate with radical religious extremists such as the Taliban. Nor can he accomplish that by failing to embrace the values of the free world.
However, Afghanistan and Americans share a common need that is based upon our limited capacity to address massive problems that are huge in scope and scale. That is, we must break the challenges into bite size and doable initiatives.
For instance, the way to succeed in defeating ISIS is mulitfold:
- Cut off the head of the snake
- Tackle the problem strategically in Iraq beginning with a few achievements at a time.
- Embrace the Kurds, arm and protect them
- Control oil and water assets
- Stamp out ISIS a community at a time around strategic assets
Cutting the head off from the snake is what we are doing in Syria. Simultaneously, Americans will help build a viable rebel force that is independent from radical Muslims.
As for troops, American military professionals need to develop rapid insertion forces that are well defended and supported by air combat and logistics for short duration and decisive battles that are in support of coalition allies.
“Poll: Americans back airstrikes, but oppose use of U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria
By Mark Preston, CNN
updated 6:03 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Obama: Intelligence underestimated ISIS
- Less than four in 10 Americans favor sending U.S. ground troops in fight ISIS
- 73% percent of Americans back the joint U.S. and ally airstrikes in Iraq, Syria
- House Speaker John Boehner says it may eventually take U.S. troops to defeat ISIS
(CNN) — Americans are steadfastly opposed to sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but an overwhelming number of people continue to support the U.S.-led airstrikes against the terrorist group, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows.
While less than four in 10 Americans favor sending U.S. ground troops into a combat situation against ISIS, there is a widespread belief that such an action is inevitable, according to the poll.
Only 24% of Americans do not think the United States will send combat troops to battle ISIS, while 36% say it is likely and another 39% say it is somewhat likely. Count House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as one of those people.
Boehner said Sunday it may take U.S. boots on the ground to defeat ISIS, as he questioned President Barack Obama’s plan — which includes airstrikes, training and equipping the Iraqi Army and moderate Syrian rebels — to defeat the terrorist network.”