The military and congressional leaders are pressuring President Barack Obama’s administration to act more forcefully in the war against ISIS which will require the deployment of additional military men and women into combat type roles in Iraq and Syria. Military leaders are convinced that they can prevail and then leave. Frankly, until there is a concerted push towards developing a political solution for this area, any military success is short lived. There needs to be a peace keeping force which means the US would again become an (non-Muslim) occupying force again. Being a non-Muslim presence in this area, is a major recruiting tool for ISIS. This guarantees ISIS, a never ending number of volunteers, which again, is counter productive.
Too often, the president’s critics blame him for the existence of ISIS by pulling the US military out of Iraq without leaving behind some US military (non-Muslim soldiers) for peacekeeping purposes (2012). They then allege that the resulting power vacuum was the cause of the spread of ISIS. These critics forget to mention that the former Iraqi elected leader Nouri al-Maliki specifically did not want remaining US troops. These same armchair quarterbacks neglect to point out that President Maliki did not include Sunnis in the governing process, which is what sparked the catalyst for ISIS (a Sunnis Islamic extremist offshoot of al-Qaeda). In addition, the multi billion, decade old US military trained Iraqi militia proved incapable of holding and protecting Iraqi territory from ISIS takeovers. In short, there is plenty of blame to go around and playing this game is not constructive.
Despite President Obama’s assertions to the contrary, there is mission creep by the US military in the middle east. A 10/19/15 Foreign Policy article, ” Your Official Mission Creep Timeline of the U.S. War in Syria,” by Micah Zenko provides the following write-up regarding this mission creep:
“Before diving into what the United States should do now regarding its anti-Islamic State strategy, it is essential to first look back and analyze exactly how the United States has arrived at where it is. Claims that Obama is demonstrating “restraint” or is “doing nothing” overlook the gradual accretion of U.S. forces and arms shipments, and the enlarging scopes of the missions being undertaken. When listening to debates about what to do now in Syria, please bear in mind the history of the last year-and-a-half. To help readers do this, here is your official “mission creep” timeline of the 15 most significant military policy declarations since June 2014, when the Islamic State’s uprising in Iraq dramatically escalated.”