The US is doing everything wrong in its war against ISIS. First of all, it’s not a war for the US to fight. Second, if it needs to be fought at all, it needs to be fought with intelligence (both definitions), not airstrikes and “advisers.”
This report by my friend Nancy Youssef of McClatchy in Washington tells us that the US is not telling anyone what’s really going on it its war against ISIS. Not journalists, not even Congress. It’s an air war, plus, of course, “advisers” in Iraq, and the Pentagon is not eager for us to know what they’re all accomplishing.
Nancy doesn’t write this…this is me: It’s clear that this is another misguided effort by the US to influence Mideast developments by using the wrong tools. There is, however, a hint of that in this paragraph from her report:
Pentagon officials privately concede that they could release more, and more timely, information. But the problem, they say, ultimately is a lack of a strategy. President Barack Obama said in a White House address Sept. 10 that the goal was to “defeat and destroy” the Islamic State, but the military approach so far is more of a containment policy. Releasing more details about the strikes would expose that divide, critics said privately.
Little wonder. American military involvement in this part of the world has been disastrous, both for the US and for the region. ISIS poses a terrorist threat to the West, no more — despite the prominence given to horrific publicity stunts like beheadings and overblown media (especially social media) attention to little demonstrations and occasional banners and signs. Therefore, the West needs to handle ISIS by infiltrating it and stopping its attacks before we even know about them — as it’s been doing for a decade and a half with al-Qaida.
There is no 100 percent guarantee here — there might well be a successful terror attack or two, because that’s the world we live in — but the total effect of American airstrikes and military action will be a substantial expansion of ISIS popularity and strength through increased hatred of the US and the West, and that means more terror attacks, not fewer. By now you’d think the West had learned this lesson.