Timothy Davis / November 12, 2014

The Old Phase, the New Phase, and the Incompetent Phase

According to President Obama, his decision to send 1,500 troops to “advise” the Iraqi army (or what’s left of it) isn’t an indication of his complete incompetence in foreign policy, but rather a new “phase” of Iraqi operations. We’ve now entered another phase of presidential bumbling. Instead of admitting that his airpower game has failed, as any decent military policy analyst knew it would, Obama is once again trying to label his incompetence as a brilliant “strategy.” We can’t keep doing this. Eventually, this complete and utter failure of our Commander-in-Chief’s military foreign policy is going to come back and bite us in the rear.

President Obama has been insistent, from the moment we began to take ISIS seriously, that there would be no “boots on the ground.” Now, he has shot himself in the boot by adding another 1,500 troops to the mess that is Iraq to “train” the Iraqis. What exactly is there to train? Half the army has abandoned their weapons and fled. Many have simply joined ISIS. We spent billions upon billions training these people for almost 10 years. What else can we do to “train” this army of imbeciles?

When these additional troops are deployed over there, we will have over 3,000 boots on the ground in a war zone, even though the president wants to insist they will only train and never fire a shot in anger. For a policy that was sold on the fact that no troops would be deployed, we’ve sure deployed a lot of troops, even if the President is doing his best to make sure they don’t accomplish what they could.

There may, however, be a shining light at the end of this dark foreign policy tunnel we are in, and it’s not the 2016 elections. The increase in troops stationed in Iraq may finally mean that Obama understands that using airpower alone cannot defeat ISIS. Everyday we read about the latest airstrike. An armored column destroyed here, a “safe” house blown up there. But we also read about the latest mass executions carried out by ISIS. Monsters are slaughtering hundreds of innocent people every single day. To any clear-sighted American, it’s very obvious that our air game isn’t winning the war. Yes, we have killed many ISIS soldiers, but many more remain. The only way we can stop this evil is by confronting it head on, with ground troops. This is the unfortunate reality in which we live.

Some Americans feel that ISIS’ rise to power is a result of our own foreign policy. They think that we shouldn’t be doing anything about these monsters, and should let Iraq take care of Iraq. Perhaps, if ISIS wasn’t hell-bent on destroying America and killing all of us as its well-advertised end game, we could let Iraqis take care of this problem. However, this isn’t the reality we live in. ISIS – which blends terror tactics with war on the ground in Iraq – is trying everyday to find ways to gain access to America and attack our citizens and our cities. So far we have been lucky in so far that they have not succeeded in pulling off a 9/11-style attack. But there have still been lone wolf attacks, influenced by ISIS’ teaching and preaching. Individuals who have ties to radical Islam have pulled off both an attack in NYC, and an attack in Oklahoma. The Ottawa gunman was thwarted from going overseas to join up with ISIS, so he chose to commit his own Jihad in Canada, killing a Canadian soldier. Americans have gone overseas to join ISIS, and some day they will come back with the knowledge and means to sow death and destruction on American soil. We can’t let this happen.

Rand Paul recently came out with a scathing article claiming that our “war” on ISIS is now “illegal.” He sites governmental rules that the President can use “emergency military action” for 60 days, then he must get permission from congress to continue, or stop the military action in 30 days. While legally Rand Paul is correct, morally he is completely wrong. Are we to see the pages and ink or the faces of the innocent? Yes, if the President wants to deploy combat troops and declare war on ISIS he should consult Congress. However, right now our enemy isn’t bound up in a legal spider web. What about the people being killed by ISIS everyday? I’m pretty sure what ISIS is doing is “illegal,” but they don’t seem to care. We can’t afford to bicker amongst ourselves about legality of (ineffective) airstrikes. Our enemy grows stronger everyday, and our inner discourse only aids them.

The only way to stop more terrorist attacks before they happen is to confront ISIS right now, with everything we have. With each village and town that ISIS takes over, they gain hundreds, if not thousands, of more followers; some voluntary, some not. Each battle they win is another step closer to their vision of ultimate victory in Iraq and Syria. And each step closer to that is a step closer to them being able to turn their vision of death to America. Listening to ISIS defectors describe the atrocities committed by ISIS is enough to make your blood run cold. The horrors that are coming out of Iraq and Syria sound like things we would read about in textbooks talking about Nazi Germany.

The West failed to stop the Nazis when we had a chance. We could have stood up to them when they were first rising to power, but we didn’t. As a result of our inaction, millions died in the resulting chaos. This is our chance to not repeat our mistakes. ISIS is only getting stronger. They are still trying to consolidate power and create a stable “country” from which they could launch attacks. If they should succeed in conquering Iraq, or Syria, our ability to defeat them with relative ease is decreased, and we will lose thousands trying to defeat them.

The thought of sending more America soldiers into a war zone is just plain awful. But the thought of sitting by and doing nothing until we read about another attack on American soil, and thousands of Americans dead, is even worse. We have a chance to make the world a slightly better place by eliminating ISIS. Let’s do it. Or else.

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