Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nothing worse

A noted scientist said, "There is nothing worse than a clear view of a fuzzy concept.", which obviously was applying to science, but it could be what fits the situation currently in Iraq with an inept and incompetent government, a military which won't fight, Shia and Sunni militias fighting each other, and the elephant in the room, ISIS.

A New York Times poll suggests the American people disapprove of the President counterterrorism plan, especially for fighting ISIS, but they should have asked those same people, "What would you do if you were President, considering all the international diplomatic and political issues at stake?"

I doubt any American would answer that with certainty their plan, if they had one, would work there against ISIS or in Iraq, and that's because there is no plan which will work unless we engage ISIS in a full scale war with several hundred thousand combat troops and all the arms, weapons, logistics, etc. they need.

ISIS currently has 30,000 to 40,000 fighters from the region and around the world, and you can bet if we put combat on the ground in Iraq to fight them, that number would double in very little time and increase throughout the war between them and us.

And then be ready to cross the Iraq-Syria border to invade Syria to fight ISIS and face international criticism if not condemnation and the Syria military in return. There is no other solution there with any level of positive outcomes, and this choice would extend the war in Iraq another 2-3 years minimum.

And be ready to justify the loss of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire in the town and cities where ISIS currently controls. We would have to engage them in urban warfare just like we did in the cities in Iraq with about the same results, long, bloody and no victory but stalemate with destroyed cities.

And that is exactly what ISIS wants, to engage the US military in a ground war. They would clearly lose, but that's not why they want the fight. They want to fight for the simple reason to fight the US government. The outcome to them is meaningless.

Is the American people ready for that? More war, more combat troops in Iraq, and Syria, more money and more veterans killed or injured returning home one way or the other. If that's your plan, then go talk to the President about it. Otherwise,  your opinion is worth what everyone else's is worth, including mine, two cents.

The other option is simply understand it's a complex situation and the President is trying to make the best decision better described as the lesser of evils since there is no clear path with no victory. There will always be terrorist groups and militias like ISIS, just look at Syria for the last 3 years.

And in the end, the best we can do if fight ISIS where they're just a small fraction of their size to go into hiding in Syria with the other militias, and then hope they don't arise again while the civil war in Syria continues and the political mess in Iraq also continues.

Any full scale military engagement in Iraq against ISIS is just like Bush's second war in Iraq, but this one would be Obama's, something he doesn't want, something we don't want and something everyone else in the world doesn't want. So the alternative is the original words, "There's nothing worse than a clear view of a fuzzy concept."

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