One of the problems with America outsourcing its national security to Islamist rebel militias is that you clearly have no loyalty. The growing concern has to be how long will this “arming and training” phase take for the Syrian rebels? In the meantime, we watch a savage terrorist army grow. If we had dealt ISIS an immediate and decisive blow back in January, perhaps this force would not be in the position of having gained and maintained terrain as it has done.
As well, we know ISIS is earning around $1 million dollars each day in black market oil revenues, which enables it to consolidate its gains and expand its recruiting efforts globally.
So we must consider the exponential growth of ISIS as we dither about considering the arming and training, and ultimately the command and control relationships in order to execute this mission. Furthermore, what will be the objectives on the ground and will they adjust if ISIS does grow in strength?
ISIS now possesses heavy armor, so shall we be able to effectively arm and train rebels — with questionable allegiances — to combat such a potent force? And truthfully, will Sunni Islamist militias fight against Sunni ISIS? I think not, because their real enemies, as ISIS has confirmed, are Shiites.
And if, as Obama has stated, there will be no U.S. combat mission, how can we possibly coordinate operations? Perhaps Obama himself will be doing so from the White House — shades of Lyndon Johnson and McNamara in the Vietnam War — perhaps that’s why Obama has handpicked retired U.S. Marine General Allen to be HIS lead on the ISIS strategy. Folks, that ain’t how it’s supposed to work.
Obama fails to comprehend strategic orientations: terrain versus enemy. He keeps reminding us all that this — well, whatever it is – isn’t like Afghanistan or Iraq but then fails to articulate what it is. We have no operational name, no clear objectives (please don’t give me the degrade and destroy diatribe), and no declaration of war or combat action — oops, forgot, we are not engaging in combat.
So how do we make any sense of this muddled mess unfolding before our eyes — the outsourcing of our national security?
My assessment? The Obama administration will try to make this all up as they go along and further confuse even themselves as they struggle to define anything being endeavored. Defintions continue to change and what exactly are forward deployed troops in advisory roles — or whatever they call it? Just to give you some insight, we have forward deployed troops in Germany who work with coalition forces advising and training them at maneuver grounds such as Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr. Is this another overseas contingency operation to contend with a man-caused disaster — or is this workplace violence?
On the Fox News online defense program DEFCON 3, former Undersecretary of Defense KT MacFarland interviewed Andrew Taber of The Washington Institute, who brings up some interesting issues on lines of coordination, which you can watch here.
I was recently interviewed on an Iowa radio show and during the call-in portion some chucklehead dialing in with Bush derangement syndrome actually asked what was my mission back in 2003 in Iraq. Well, we had written a unit level operation order that was part of the overall 4th Infantry Division scheme of maneuver and we had conducted several large-scale rehearsals. Even our three-day convoy into Iraq, just north of Baghdad, from Kuwait was rehearsed. As the combat mission shifted to the next phase of stability and support operations, we continue to refine our daily task/purpose and mission to ensure we were nested in with the division mission.
The problem here though, is that no one has a doggone clue what the strategic mission, commanders’ intent, key tasks, and end state are in this unnamed, very significant, counter-terrorism operation with many moving parts conducted over a long period of time.
This is what happens when politics tries to operate on the battlefield. And as for technology, well, we had all that in Vietnam — but without a clear strategic vision, and with the assistance of the anti-war Left, a beaten enemy won the propaganda war while our brave men in the field won the tactical war. So just as the killing fields of Pol Pot and the Khymer Rouge ensued, so has been the emergence of ISIS.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.