Sunday, September 14, 2014

Strategic questions
     As I continue to think about President Obama's address to the nation last Wednesday regarding ISIS, three questions keep coming to mind.  First, an NBC poll found that a majority of Americans(62%) favor his plan.  But an even larger majority of Americans (68%) are skeptical as to whether it will succeed.  Why would a rational person support a plan that they are not confident will succeed?  Second, the president said that US military involvement will be limited to air strikes and training and equipping Iraqi ground forces and the Free Syrian US "boots on the ground".  This is the same Iraqi army that we trained from 2004 to 2011 only to have it desert and leave behind its weapons and equipment at first contact with ISIS....two full brigades deserted.  ISIS is now driving around Iraq and Syria in US Humvees given to the Iraqi army which subsequently abandoned them on the battlefield.  As for no US "boots on the ground", I suppose that the special ops soldiers and "advisers" are wearing sandals or sneakers.  Why would a rational person believe that either one of these "armies" is capable of successful military ground operations in the foreseeable future without invoking magical thinking?  Third, how much will this cost and how will we pay for it?  Has everyone inside the Beltway forgotten that America is seventeen trillion dollars in debt and continues to run a budget deficit?

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