Trump offers more of the same on ISIS

Here’s a report on the new administration’s plans for defeating ISIS–and to top Pentagon correspondent Nancy Youssef, it looks familiar: More bombing, more US troops. That follows the line of the Obama team, maybe stepping it up a bit.

Take a couple of minutes and read down to the part under the photo, where Nancy explains why all this is faulty. Here’s the first reason:

An increase in US troops could further inflame anti-American groups across the Middle East who have long accused Washington of seeking to dominate the region, sentiments already aggravated by Trump’s ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries and his repeated calls to seize Iraq’s oil as spoils of war.

If you’ve been following my comments on the ISIS-Syria-Iraq situation, then you’ve heard this before…but here goes:

For the reasons Nancy describes, Western (especially US) military action is counter-productive. The way to “win” this battle is to let the region realign itself without military interference, though that does mean many more casualties. Anyway, the US air campaign causes its own casualties.

Instead, put the billions spent on military actions into a concerted effort to help the refugees, setting them up in proper living conditions in the region, and putting aside a few billion to help rebuild their ravaged nations and towns when this is over, as one day it will be.

The US has burned all its political capital in the Mideast, largely because of the misguided Iraq war of 2004. The way to restore it is to aim for positive influence of the next generation. If the main effort becomes humanitarian assistance, not troops and bombs, there’s a chance that the US will regain the image of a benevolent power that can be trusted to help.

Meanwhile, military efforts should be concentrated on intelligence, to thwart planned attacks on the home front. Much more time and money needs to be spent in this area, which should be, after all, our first priority.

I’m disappointed that no one else seems to be picking up on what appears to me to be an obvious, correct policy.

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