The war with ISIS is changing, but the US strategy isn’t. Read all the way through this article by my friend and outstanding reporter, Nancy Youssef. It appears that the Obama administration is in a holding pattern, unwilling to send troops into Iraq to fight ISIS–but that’s exactly what Republicans want.
What’s missing is a cogent explanation from the moderates about why sending troops back into Iraq–or anywhere else in the Middle East–is the wrong thing to do. The Obama administration has been poor at explaining anything it does, and I can conclude from my just-completed trip to the US, which included some cage-rattling in Washington, that there is precious little strategic thinking going on there at all–it’s all politics.
That’s exactly the wrong way to conduct world diplomacy. It leaves too many openings for those who believe there’s a military answer for everything–despite the repeated failures of that strategy, starting with Vietnam and progressing through Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s time to understand that military involvement inevitably backfires into an anti-American crusade. It’s also time to understand that the Mideast is undergoing a historic realignment that started with Arab Spring and is likely to end with current borders either erased or irrelevant–and not only is there nothing the US can do to stop it–the US and the West should stand back and let it happen. Their only concern needs to be preventing a spillover into their territories, and that can be done with intelligence, the same way the West has been handling al-Qaida for the past 15 years.
If American moderates don’t start winning over the voters on this and other issues, we’ll be back to seeing US troops being sent all over the world to suffer humiliating and painful defeats. Again.