Even If You Think We Should ‘Defeat ISIS’, What Makes You Think We Can?

A while ago, I argued that, regardless of what one might think about the need to intervene in Iraq and Syria to stop ISIS, our foreign policy establishment/national security apparatus has had a dismal record of failure in the Middle East, so why would one think they would get it right this time (Charlie Brown, meet Lucy and the football…)? Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks this (boldface mine):

A recent piece in The New York Times detailed a bunch of U.S. military officials complaining that Obama was unfairly blaming them for not noticing the rise of ISIS. But let’s face facts: expecting our jalopy institutions to successfully navigate the rapidly shifting tangle of alliances in Syria is ludicrous. America is a country where the Secret Service doesn’t notice the White House has been shot until four days after the fact, and is apparently unfamiliar with how door locks work.

We also use our counterterrorism resources to monitor non-violent political groups, while missing the actual terrorists (when you think about it, that statement, while true, is fundamentally oxymoronic).

Since we’re now involved in this clusterfuck, I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see this ending well.

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2 Responses to Even If You Think We Should ‘Defeat ISIS’, What Makes You Think We Can?

  1. David says:

    Unless they are ruthless (as the Russians in Chechnya), military action cannot defeat populist terrorist movements. Look at the 65 year failure to do so, in Israel. Look at the Vietnam war. For every terrorist killed by a drone, there are more innocent or near-innocent lives lost and the relatives of those people then become new terrorists. Our military strategy is doomed to make the outcome worse than the starting point.

    • realthog says:

      Precisely, David: I’m with you on this. We seem intent on pursuing the same course that just made things worse the last time, and the time before, and the time before that, and . . . The worst part of it is that I think Obama has enough sense to realize this is a stupid way of proceeding, but that he’s been boxed into a corner by the oncoming mid-terms — he can’t risk all the froth-mouthed crazies deciding he’s “soft on defense”.

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