Today the Washington Post editorial board had a very interesting view of President Barack Obama’s stance on fighting ISIS after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Here is what they offered in the way of an observation in today’s must read editorial.
Pressed about his strategy for fighting the Islamic State, a petulant-sounding President Obama insisted Monday, as he has before, that his critics have offered no concrete alternatives for action in Syria and Iraq, other than putting “large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground.” This claim was faulty in two respects. First, few if any White House critics are proposing a U.S. ground operation on the scale of the previous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the same time, military experts both within and outside the administration have proposed more modest measures that could significantly increase the pressure on the Islamic State if the president were to adopt them.
Mr. Obama is right that the route to destroying the Islamic State lies in finding local partners in the Middle East and elsewhere who can stabilize their countries with U.S. and other international support. If that broad strategy is correct, however, its implementation has been consistently underpowered. U.S. aid to Iraqi and Syrian allies has been too small and too slow to arrive; airstrikes have been conducted at a fraction of the pace of previous campaigns.
The United States has not used its leverage to bring about essential political change, including the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and significant steps by the Shiite-led Iraqi government to reconcile with Sunni leaders. In response to failures, Mr. Obama has tended to escalate U.S. action in small increments unlikely to make a decisive difference — like his recent decision to dispatch fewer than 50 Special Operations troops to Syria.
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