By Trevor Law
There has been a lot of talk lately about how the West and Islam are at war. About how President Obama needs to get serious about fighting radical Islam. After all Daish(Isis) has shown itself to be capable of launching attacks into the very heart of Europe, and it is true that the notion of Islam as a violent religion is as old as the religion itself. It is also true that most brands of radical Sunni Islam can trace their origins to Wahhabism, An Islamic theology that is sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
Now apparently, if many American politicians are to be believed we aren’t really at war yet, but we should be. Both Senator Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham want to send troops into Iraq and Syria and the entire field thinks President Obama should escalate the war against Daish.
So…let’s freaking do this! I’m serious, we can do a full on escalation against Daish, or at least lwalk through what that would look like and what it would cost.
First, the U.S. would need to increase its military both in manpower and its budget. Iraq and Afghanistan really stretched it thin and since this would be a war on the scale of both of those combined we would need a force that size. Keep in mind that during the height of the Iraq surge, coalition forces had 180,000 troops in Iraq and they still did not leave behind a country that couldn’t defend itself. So it would be a fair statement that since Daish has shown how adept it is at running an insurgency that we would need even more troops.
Second, the West would need to pick a winner in Syria. What I mean is we would need to pick one of the existing factions in that nations civil war and proclaim them the legitimate government of Syria. We would then need to help stabilize that government and do everything we could to make sure it took control of the population. Since the Pentagon couldn’t even find a hundred fighters that it felt comfortable enough to train, most existing factions are at the very least apathetic to the United States and the West. Or we could pick the Kurds to take over Syria, that has proven to be an excellent strategy for conquering powers. After all, it is how President Bashar Al Assad’ father came into power. You see, the French set up that regime because the Alawites (the group Assad belongs to) were an oppressed minority. We set up the Kurds who are friendly to the West and then sit back and let them keep groups like Daish down so we don’t have to worry about them.
An alternative to the second option is true nation building. We try to totally rebuild the society. I will be honest, I can’t even imagine such an undertaking. The United States did something similar after World War II but that was after we had gotten a surrender. I don’t think it would even have been possible if those nations had been actively resisting even after occupation. So unless someone out there thinks they know how to convince a group that is built on martyrdom, I don’t really see how in the world you can get a surrender.
I know this is extreme but honestly President Obama is bombing targets daily in Syria and Iraq. Any escalation would just be carpet bombing the region or an all out invasion. Now, it is up to the people of Syria and Iraq to defeat Daish. Oh sure, the West can aid some of them but keep in mind even Kurdish forces are committing more than a few war crimes. The issue now is one of security and humanitarianism. Daish wants an escalation from the West. They want to be seen as defending Islam from the evil crusaders. Only by letting regional powers take point can this realistically end.
So to everyone talking tough about Daish, please, tell me how you defeat them and then don’t leave fertile ground for the next awful group to rise. Every time I hear a Presidential candidate talking tough on this I roll my eyes. This is not a time to bolster but to actually come up with real solutions that will not make the next generation deal with this crisis. People I respect are saying things like this…
This…there is no middle ground in this. If you think this, then you are advocating for not just a total war against Daish, but every Muslim everywhere. If you really believe that, then I guess Daish is right, and the West should start bombing not just Syria and Iraq, but every Muslim state until we get a surrender, after all, this is a clash of civilizations.
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