ISIS is on the verge of claiming another town in Syria, one that could act as a launching point for attacks into Turkey, a NATO member. The Kurdish fighters who are besieged in this town are fighting courageously, holding out against odds that overwhelmed the Iraqi defense forces. US airplanes are bombing positions around the town, providing some relief, but the issue is not air power. The issue is ground support, support that should be coming from the coalition partners, to support the Kurdish fighters. Since barack Obama has denied US combat troops entry into the mission, this requires support from the coalition partners that will operate in Syria, namely the coalition of Muslim nations that have signed on for this effort. But there are no troops coming forward, and this is a bad thing.
We know it’s bad because of the tactical issue: without more support, the town may fall this weekend. But it’s bad on the geo-political strategic level, also. The Kurds are being hard-pressed, and need assistance. If the Muslim nations, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, came to the aid of the Kurdish people, maybe there would be an opportunity for the long broiling resentments between the two peoples to be settled. The Kurds could feel that they can broker an agreement between themselves and the Muslim nations they live in, and the Muslim nations could get support from some of the strongest, most dangerous, and most organized fighters in the region. The president should have been working to foster that kind of agreement long ago, when he said no US combat boots on the ground. By supporting the Peshmarga in Iraq, and the Kurdish forces in Syria, as well as coordinating support between the groups and the Muslim fighters, maybe something could have been salvaged. As it is, we need to support the Kurdish fighters, as they are the only ones taking a concerted stance against ISIS and their splinter groups.
I do not say the Kurdish fighters are blameless innocents. The Kurds are ferocious, and courageous, and violent. The Kurdish fighters have fought Turkish and Iraqi military to a standstill, and would stop the Taliban in its tracks. Al Qaeda never attempted to subvert the Kurdish people, because the Kurds do not believe in their form of life. For the Kurds to be able to stand as they have, reflects the Kurdish lifestyle, and the hard path the Kurds have had to travel.
The administration’s strategy of bombing the ISIS fighters to “degrade and eventually destroy” ISIS only works if we are willing to use nuclear warheads. This is an unthinkable action. The use of airpower does not guarantee that ground will be captured, fighters on the ground will be subdued or eliminated, and gains will be achieved. Air power is only effective in concert with a coordinated ground campaign. And despite the many pundits elaborating on the media outlets, a ground campaign does not require the use of hundreds of thousands of troops. A decent infantry division, backed by sufficient air power, will make a severe impact and implode ISIS in its tracks. Unfortunately, we have a new-era democrat president, who believes that, like Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him, the military can be used piecemeal to affect “Political Changes”, despite the fact that military forces are not chess pieces for politicians. Instead of assigning a substantial number of military troops to support the air campaign, this president sends US troops into Africa to fight a disease. This president has watched Outbreak too many times. The US military is a strategic weapon of policy used to enforce decisions by the civilian politicians, or as a means of last diplomatic resolution to discussions of strategic importance. The US military is not a police or Emergency Medical Response force used to take care of those things that the president deems a problem. Use of the military in such actions degrades the combat effectiveness of the units involved, and reduces the capability of the military to respond to true military emergencies. The activities that president has ascribed to the US military would be better handled by the Public Health Service, the Center for Disease Control, Peace Corps, or any of the myriad NGOs set up specifically already for these tasks.
This president has the lowest approval rating of any president at this time of their presidency. He makes decisions based not on the needs of the country, but on political agendas. Meanwhile, in Syria and in Iraq, thousands daily are being killed, left homeless, or are fleeing one of the most horrendous groups since NAZI Germany. Even the Taliban’s efforts are paling in significance to what Baghdadi and his goons are doing, supposedly in the name of Allah.
If Islam is a religion of peace, as the president continually espouses, why are so many people raped, maimed, and killed in its name? Why are the Kurds besieged by this peaceful religion? When will the peaceful Muslims stand up and say “Enough! This Far and No Farther!” When?
“We Must All Stand Together, Or Most Assuredly, We Shall All Swing Separate…”