Obama’s ISIS strategy: wait 3 years and PUNT

I remember being a young captain preparing to deploy to Kuwait for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. It was my first combat deployment, but we were more than capable, well-trained and equipped for open desert warfare. We amassed a coalition of several Arab states — I remember seeing Soviet-made Syrian T-64 tanks — we had always trained to kill those suckers. I was in the 1st Infantry Division and our mission was to be the main effort breach force of the initial Iraqi Army defenses. We had been hearing all about the vaunted Iraqi Army, and Saddam Hussein had promised it would be the “Mother of All Battles” – yeah, right.

I remember the opening night of the air campaign – a lot different from air strikes. We didn’t have “drones” in those days, but the combination of the new Apache attack helicopters with their deep strike capability and fixed wing aircraft made for an impeccable display of air power — but even that combination could not do it alone.

When the day came for us to finally launch our ground attack, we began a systematic assault that crushed what was the world’s fifth largest army in 96 hours. I remember the highway of death where our air forces caught the fleeing Iraqi Army out in the open — rules of engagement? Yep, kill the enemy. We had unleashed the full military power of the U.S. military within the strategic objective of removing the Iraqi Army from Kuwait.

Given my battlefield experience, it is with some bewilderment that I learned the framework of President Obama’s basic “strategy” to deal with ISIS. According to Hot Air, “Over the weekend, President Barack Obama revealed his intention to deliver a speech to the American people in which he will outline the pillars of his administration’s strategy to roll back the Islamic State and ultimately defeat it.”

“In Monday’s New York Times, however, the bullet points of Obama’s strategy was revealed; roll back the Islamic State in Iraq, train and equip a functional Iraqi army, and eventually execute strikes inside Syria. The plan will take years to carry out, the Times reported, and will likely go beyond Obama’s presidency. “The final, toughest and most politically controversial phase of the operation – destroying the terrorist army in its sanctuary inside Syria – might not be completed until the next administration,” the Times reported. “Indeed, some Pentagon planners envision a military campaign lasting at least 36 months.”

Thirty-six months? Thirty-six months to “roll back and defeat ISIS” which is a 10,000- to 13,000-sized force, basically a division-sized element in U.S. military formation terms. Likely to go beyond Obama’s presidency? That’s the strategy? Punt to the next administration? I’ve never heard of a plan that says we’ll basically delay decisive action until the next administration. Say what you wish, but major combat operations in Iraq had ceased when Obama came onto the scene. His job was to secure a stable situation – instead he chose a political solution.

Back in January when ISIS came into Iraq and secured western Al Anbar cities of Fallujah and Al Ramadi, its size was somewhere between 1,500 to 2,000 — I was reading open source intel reports — I guess Obama should have read his daily intel briefs. At the time, ISIS was dismissed as a “JV” team and now, eight months later we see its size, territorial expanse and financial resourcing have all expanded. However, Obama continues to tell us what he is not willing to do. In fact, Obama recently revealed in an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC that he has no clue as to the difference between terrain and enemy-oriented operations. He fails to understand what strike operations entail.

“You’ve ruled out boots on the ground. And I’m curious, have you only ruled them out simply for domestic political reasons?” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked the president. “Because your own– your own guys have said, ‘You can’t defeat ISIS with air strikes alone.’” “Well, they’re absolutely right about that,” Obama replied. “But you also cannot, over the long term or even the medium term, deal with this problem by having the United States serially occupy various countries all around the Middle East. We don’t have the resources. It puts enormous strains on our military. And at some point, we leave. And then things blow up again.”

The fight against ISIS is not a terrain-oriented operation — occupation — it is enemy oriented, which means you develop your intel and strike the enemy where he presents himself — with the full spectrum of military means. We can certainly utilize Kurdish Peshmerga forces as a ground combat component but it has to be in conjunction with U.S. forces that can conduct highly mobile and maneuverable offensive combat operations — not occupation.

This is not about rebuilding anything, just destroying ISIS. In Afghanistan we did have UAE Special Operations forces as part of our coalition, the same could happen here, as well as Egyptian infantry forces. But the problem is that Obama is not a trustworthy partner.

Yes, you have to strike ISIS in Syria in its support bases and doing so has nothing to do with enabling Bashar al Assad. We can vet and enable insurgent forces within Syria much as we had the French underground forces assisting the allies in World War II. But we cannot put off striking ISIS in depth until three years from now.

“It may take a year, it may take two years, it may take three years,” Secretary of State John Kerry said at a NATO summit last week. “But we’re determined it has to happen.” That type of statement is certainly not likely to garner confidence in your allies — but it certainly emboldens your enemy.

What I think no one seems to comprehend is that the longer ISIS remains undeterred — and killing 30 to 60 here or there is not impactful – the stronger it grows financially and globally it increases it recruitment — and export of its ideology. Where is the sense of immediacy from Obama? And what about the issue of domestic jihadism and recruitment? Will part of Obama’s strategy be to cease the decimation of our own military?

It’s gonna be an interesting speech on Wednesday, the day before the 13th anniversary of 9-11. We continue to talk, while ISIS continues to act. And again, the level of air strikes is not reflective of a dedicated strategic air campaign, only measured tactical pin pricks — which gives the political impression of doing something that truly amounts to doing very little. So we shall waste time training and equipping the Iraqi Army — which is part of the mission a residual force would have done, had Obama not said no. And now he punts.

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19 Comments on "Obama’s ISIS strategy: wait 3 years and PUNT"

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Betty Mullins
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HE IS FOR OUR ENEMY ] HE IS NOT DOING NOTHING TO GET RID OF THEM .] I WONDER IF HE IS NOT PUTTING OFF CAUSE HE DONT’ WANT TO KILL THEM . CAUSE HE IS A MUSLIM THEY ARE HIS FRIENDS’ AND KIN MAYBE ] LETTING THEM LIVE GIVES’ THEM MORE TO COME HERE ]

Guyg
Guest

I will have to force myself to listen to his speech on Wednesday.We are going to get hammered by terrorists infiltrating from Mexico.Innocent people will die .It is almost like the President cares only for his Political base who also will die.God help us get a real leader .

Flying 1969
Guest

Sad but true. The Democrats will sacrifice citizens lives for future illegal alien o foreign votes, whether it be through amnesty or their fight to prohibit showing ID’s to vote. They stand for nothing except for pimping for votes to build their Communist power.

Clayton Kendrick Jr.
Guest

Every speech I seen him make is a total lie. Wanna watch him lie again?

Scott Snoopy
Guest

I cannot even listen to the organizer in chief in sound bites..his arrogance and condescending tones and that smug punk face are just more than I can take. He has no respect for the troops or Vets and plays at being “president”, he wants all the trappings of of office, but not the responsibility that goes with it. This will be just like all the other issues of his terms–I’ll give a speech and the problem is solved.

Larry
Guest

obummer is a muslim

aGrimm
Guest

Today’s Common Core Test: Obama, McConnell, Pelosi, Boehner, and Reid met today to discuss ISIS/ISIL. Please match each of the five with the organization each heads from the list below:

ISIS: It Sucks I Lie; I’m Seriously Insane Seriously;It’s S**t I’m Saying; I Suck It’s Sure; Insane Stupid Idiotic Stuff; Inspire Stupid Idiotic Stuff

ISIL: I’m Sure I Lie; I’m a Solidly Insane Lady; It’s Solid I Lie; Infectious
Stupidity Is Loose; I Strangle Independent Liberty; I Support Insalubrious Legislation;
I Sponsor Ineffective Legislation;Impeach Stinko Idiot Loser; I’m Still an Irritable Loser
… or make up your own matches.

David Wilson
Guest

We have a coward muslim for a so called president and nobody should expect anything from this idiot but stupid bellshit

Byron Shutt
Guest

He will be remembered as the President who has set us back 20 yrs……unless our enemies are writing the history then.

Batman
Guest

You can’t defeat ISIS unless you defeat Islam, because ISIS is only fulfulling Islam’s ultimate goal: a global caliphate. We already know how this ends. You can’t prevent the inevitable.

Clayton Kendrick Jr.
Guest

Wanna bet?

TruConserv
Guest
You just mocked how easy your part was in a 96 hour war … and then you use that lame-ass role in a walk-over as proof that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to ground wars? Do you see what you’re quickly becoming the mother of all jokes? FWIW: You’re readers don’t get out of the bubble much, so when you lie to then and state that Obama is just talking, they won’t know that Obama has commanded several successful air attacks on ISIS and has pushed them away from a key dam. Congress has failed to… Read more »
Andy Martin
Guest

Still suckin’ the Muslim POTUS arse I see.

aGrimm
Guest
TC: You are missing West’s point. The US could squash the ISIS in days or weeks with the proper planning. If I remember, for Iraq it was six months planning and then only took 96 hours of lock, load and roll to when the fight was over. West is arguing that we could do the same, if not quicker, against ISIS. I concur that we could. Obama’s approach is just like the war I fought in, Vietnam, in that the politicians are dithering and a lot of my comrades died as a result. The decision should be to either fight-to-win… Read more »
TruConserv
Guest
Thanks for your considered response. You explained the “West Position” better than West did himself. West position remains a bit contradictory – either the battle was hard or it was not – but to me the big issue is whether Obama will do anything and THEN will he do it lawfully. I don’t see ISIS as that much of a threat to the USA directly, a few beheadings are horrific, but not enough to goad me into a war. I do see ISIS as a big threat to our international interests, including our relations with non-radicalized Muslims in the area.… Read more »
steve
Guest

You actually just typed all of that in Hopes of Convincing an Obama A$$ Licker of something? SMH….Good try but these idiots have their heads Buried so far up Obama’s A$$ they never even see Daylight

Mark Carlson
Guest

Did anyone truly expect Oblamo to take action agianst Islamic fighters whatever “Namo” they wish to call themselves? They could be called pigs A$$ and he still would cover thier A$$!!

quanxavier
Guest

Now I understand how hard the presidency is. So congress is going to grant this President war powers? Who is the head of ISIS/ISIL? Why is the US who is thousands of miles away having to defend lands that should be protected by NATO?

steve
Guest

We are not fighting ISIS to protect other Lands we fight them to Protect and ensure OUR LAND Doesn’t get Bombed Comprende’ ? DOH