Send Boots on the ground to deal with ISIS?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I hear this debate on the radio everyday.

    Thoughts?

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Air strikes seem to be working. Stick with them.

  • '22 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Problem with ISIS is you put that down and another extremist group will emerge. State building is an impossible exercise, especially in a region where tribal, ethnic and religious rivalries are still so tense. As a result power sharing and establishing democracies are fruitless exercises.

    A good start for adding some stability would be having a credible Kurdish state that could help secure their own borders. It would also help if the Gulf states set better examples of democracy and fair governance, but that’s a pipe dream.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Instead of dropping bombs, I propose we drop these items.

    1. Iphones
    2. Pornography
    3. Beer/Booze
    4. Baseball Cards
    5. Hot Dogs
    6. Cocaine/Marijuana
    7. Cigars
    8. Harley Davidsons
    9. Air Conditioning
    10. Basketballs
    11. Nike Shoes
    12. Fake Light Sabers
    13. Gatorade
    15. Camping Tents
    16. Fruit by the Foot
    17. Poker Tables
    18. Dart Boards
    19. Gimp Masks
    20. Hot Tubs
    21. Nachoes
    22. Ping Pong Tables
    23. Mechanical Bulls
    24. Ice Cream Men
    25. Cheerleaders

    You guys know, cool stuff, fun things like these. Should be cheaper then the $4 bil that fighting ISIS is estimated to cost. Feel free to add to the list if I’m missing anything.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    A true defeat of ISIS, if that can be accomplished, will only occur with some greater level of combat troops fighting. Airstrikes are important, but alone they are like whack-a-mole. You might eliminate one problem but more just pop up. But I really don’t know… I am tired of the whole thing by now and am not sure what the best option is.

    One thing I will say, which does not answer the question:  if these strikes are to continue and esp. if ground troops are to be deployed, the military needs to be allowed to stop cutting their budgets. They need more weapons and more trained soldiers to do all the jobs necessary. The opposite is happening and they are being asked to do more, for longer with less. Not a good day.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    The reason I said: air strikes only, is because I, too, am tired of this.
    I am fed up of the news always being the same: more dead troops.
    I know what you mean about the defence cuts too.

  • '17

    Whose boots?

    And are those boots going to enter Syria?

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @hkytown1:

    You guys know, cool stuff, fun things like these.

    That approach certainly worked in the Philippines, if the 1945 John Wayne movie “Back to Bataan” is to be believed.  Early in the film, just before the Japanese invasion occurs, a schoolteacher in a village somewhere in the Philippines is talking to her students about the history of their country.  Part of the discussion goes like this:

    Teacher: What, then, was Spain’s contribution to the Philippines?  Maria?

    Maria: The Spanish brought us the Holy Faith, the Blessed Virgin and the saints.

    Teacher: Quite right, Maria.  The Spaniards brought us Christianity.  And now, what would you say America gave the Philippines?

    A student: Soda pop!

    Another student: Hot dogs!

    Another student: Movies!

    Another student: Radio!

    Another student: Baseball!

  • '17

    With airstrikes and/or boots on the ground, what is the vision for how this war will end well?

    Killing extremists (while often necessary) doesn’t actually end extremism.

    I think we need a truly radical solution. How about taking all the money/resources we would normally spend on war and instead invest it in a mass asylum program, shaming our enemies and making true friends?

    Good luck recruiting future extremists after that.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    With airstrikes and/or boots on the ground, what is the vision for how this war will end well?

    Killing extremists (while often necessary) doesn’t actually end extremism.

    I think we need a truly radical solution. How about taking all the money/resources we would normally spend on war and instead invest it in a mass asylum program, shaming our enemies and making true friends?

    Good luck recruiting future extremists after that.

    Seems a little impractical and certainly dangerous. Doing good things for some people now will not absolve us (in the terrorist’s eyes) from past transgressions against them nor will it cover over other aspects for which they hate America/the West.

  • '17

    I think we would attract a larger and more generous coalition if we took such a humanitarian approach. Even if it failed in the goal of reducing extremism, at least we would have accomplished something worthy.

    Western military intervention does not seem to have addressed the root cause of terrorism, so why continue down that road?

  • '17

    Also, without such humanitarian intervention, you can be certain than the millions of Syrians displaced by war will produce the desperate conditions that allows terrorism to thrive.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    I think we would attract a larger and more generous coalition if we took such a humanitarian approach. Even if it failed in the goal of reducing extremism, at least we would have accomplished something worthy.

    Doing the world a bunch of favors is noble, but unwise; it is neither practical or safe. And opening our borders, as it were, will not reduce extremism in the slightest. If anything it will bring it here or strengthen what hold it does have elsewhere.

    Even though the US is taking the lead in this fight, what is the responsibility that other countries (our allies) have? Inviting the world to the US under the pretense of asylum will not change the strategic/tactical situation and I am not sure what it would convey to our allies except that they would say, “Oh that is nice”. Germany and Britain and Australia and whomever else are not going to change their stance because we look nicer than the already nice that we are.

    @wheatbeer:

    Western military intervention does not seem to have addressed the root cause of terrorism, so why continue down that road?

    It has not eliminated the root cause but it addresses the immediate situation. The fewer terrorists there are, the less damage that can be done to us, our allies or innocent bystanders.

    Also, what is the root cause? Do the experts even know? My impression is that it is no one thing, but a combination of different factors. Ultimately, the root is some-thing philosophical or theological. These are beliefs, cultural and otherwise, which cannot be changed by anything we do or say. The extremists or practitioners must themselves decide to no longer subscribe to it. It is impractical to do this through education and it has been repeatedly shown that negotiation is not an option.

    I would offer that one of the best ways to eliminate the root causes of radical islamic terrorism is to eliminate the leaders and teachers of it. As I said above, they cannot be swayed or convinced to give up their beliefs with argument. The only way to end it would be to ensure that there is an overwhelming civilian and governmental majority of those who oppose the extremists or who do not stand for their intimidation. The only way this can be done is through reducing the number of extremists. That means killing them.

    For the record, this is all theoretical. I personally believe that extremism in some form or another will always exist and cannot be eliminated from the earth. But it can always be blown to relative insignificance when it arises.

    @wheatbeer:

    Also, without such humanitarian intervention, you can be certain than the millions of Syrians displaced by war will produce the desperate conditions that allows terrorism to thrive.

    That, again, is impractical for us to control or deal with. It’s not like rebuilding Europe after World War II, or even Japan for that matter. Islamic terrorism is international and has no borders. It can thrive just as easily in Africa or Germany as it can in Syria. I would also dispute that terrorism (of the radical islamic variety) is primarily or significantly a product of poverty and destruction; that would imply they are no more than warlords and gangs. Islamic terrorism is a trans-national, religious mandate. It may be easier to prey on the weak population in a bereft country, but first the religious component has to exist.

    As we have seen with Iraq, there is really no way to nation-build in the middle-east. Not effectively, anyway. The region is so unstable that all of NATO, let alone the US itself, could not hope to address all the geopolitical problems and havens for terrorists such that a democratic state can gain a foothold for any length of time. It is a very hard issue and not one with an overall perfect answer I think.

    The simple and moderately successful solution, currently, is to pinpoint the bad guys and kill them.

  • '17

    @LHoffman:

    I would offer that one of the best ways to eliminate the root causes of radical islamic terrorism is to eliminate the leaders and teachers of it.

    What attracts people to those leaders and teachers in the first place?

    I suggest the major factors are oppression, alienation, and poverty.

    There will always be some angry or insane person ready to lead/teach, but acquiring followers takes something more.

  • '16 '15 '10

    From what I understand (and my understanding, like just about everyone else, is limited) a big source of ISIS support is the widespread feeling among Sunnis (formerly the hegemonic ethnic/religous group in Iraq) that the US and the Iraqi puppet state have sold them out.  Iraqi society and overall standard of living having steadily declined since the wars began.  The oil industry–formerly nationalized and a source of wealth for the Iraqi economy–is now in the hands of western corporate power.

    In other words, ISIS is just as much an anti-imperialist movement as a fundamentalist movement.

    We can safely doubt that there would be much discussion about redeploying to Iraq if there weren’t so many oil resources at stake.  In fact, there are still plenty of western military contractors deployed in Iraq to protect those resources.

    This gets us back to the original reason for the war–that Saddam couldn’t be trusted with so much wealth with which he could buy weapons that could be used against Israel and other neighboring states.

    I don’t dispute that ISIS is a dangerous phenomenon and that the rights of Kurds and Shiites should be protected.  But it seems like Sunnis in Iraq and Syria don’t feel like they have an alternative.  If the West wants Iraqis to support our puppet state, then we need to find a way to give Iraqis the same level of security, material comfort and well-being that they experienced under Saddam.  That may be impossible at this point, making this a no-win situation for all parties involved.   Recall that back in 2003 President Bush assured Iraqis that the USA would overthrow Saddam and then leave.

    All that said, it’s also possible that ISIS is an element of the overall Western strategic plan for the region.  We have a track record of encouraging similar groups in Libya and Syria and our ally Saudi Arabia has a related religious/political ideology.  This Alex Jonesy hypothesis may sound crazy, but sadly, we live in a crazy world.  Sometimes it seems like there is a kind of public relations campaign to convince Westerners that Arabs are too barbaric to govern themselves and they should be ruled by dictators with the West safely in possession of valuable resources.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Zhukov44:

    All that said, it’s also possible that ISIS is an element of the overall Western strategic plan for the region.  We have a track record of encouraging similar groups in Libya and Syria and our ally Saudi Arabia has a related religious/political ideology.  This Alex Jonesy hypothesis may sound crazy, but sadly, we live in a crazy world.  Sometimes it seems like there is a kind of public relations campaign to convince Westerners that Arabs are too barbaric to govern themselves and they should be ruled by dictators with the West safely in possession of valuable resources.

    It’s not all that far fetched and there are certainly related things like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    To be frank - it’s a good strategy if that’s our intent.  I am in full agreement that it’s possibly deliberate.

    #1 - there are lots of different extremists, and it’s better to have your enemies fighting your enemies
    #2 - It’s better that they are fighting over there, than bringing it all to your local downtown core.
    #3 - The existence of extremists, and their ever present threat, validates gobs of military spending, which to some degree maintains a system of relative and balanceable world social stability.


  • It is a matter of time before boots do land on the ground outside of the few thousand we have there currently. Whether you agree with it or not, if you ask the military to solve a problem, they are going to give you a military solution every time.

    I honestly believe if we would have kept about 10,000 soldiers there after 2011, we wouldn’t be in this mess. It also would have been a heck of a lot cheaper than going back in blind.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @Gargantua:

    To be frank - it’s a good strategy if that’s our intent.  I am in full agreement that it’s possibly deliberate.

    #1 - there are lots of different extremists, and it’s better to have your enemies fighting your enemies
    #2 - It’s better that they are fighting over there, than bringing it all to your local downtown core.
    #3 - The existence of extremists, and their ever present threat, validates gobs of military spending, which to some degree maintains a system of relative and balanceable world social stability.

    In addition, perhaps the Allies hope to break up Iraq into 3 or more states.  It makes each state more dependent on Western military to protect it from the others.  Each state would be more reluctant to nationalize resources or otherwise defy the empire.  And a pan-nationalist Arab movement is less likely to emerge if the region is divided between shia and sunni.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Zhukov44:

    In addition, perhaps the Allies hope to break up Iraq into 3 or more states.  It makes each state more dependent on Western military to protect it from the others.  Each state would be more reluctant to nationalize resources or otherwise defy the empire.  And a pan-nationalist Arab movement is less likely to emerge if the region is divided between shia and sunni.

    I think this idea has already happened in the past and is perhaps the reason we have the current problems. If nothing else this seems like taking our (western) meddling to a whole different level. Or at the very least being frank about strategies we have been employing for decades.

  • '17

    @Gargantua:

    #1 - there are lots of different extremists, and it’s better to have your enemies fighting your enemies

    Kerry dismissed the idea of Iran joining the coalition as “inappropriate” even though they are volunteering their help.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29172524

    More interesting perhaps: Iran is joining the fight anyways. They have military units inside Iraq already.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/26/world/meast/iran-president-amanpour-interview/

  • '21 '20 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13

    I’m afraid the ground invasion is inevitable.

    NASA says a limited nuclear war will lower global temperatues.  Let’s solve two problems at once and Nuke it all

    Here is a better deal:
    Build in both poles a tower hundred miles in height. At each tower top mount 100 jet engines, 1000 is better. These engines are blowing in the north and south poles in opposite directions. The earth’s axis will change the angle so that Asia will be on the dark side of the Earth. Tsunamis will flush Russia away due to the melting of Antarctica. China would be in the permafrost zone.
    A pleasant mild climate will be established in entire American continent.
    In Africa, the climate will be like in Siberia now. Africans will learn to shoot down the pine nuts with wooden mallets. A bit sorry about Australia. They didn’t do anything wrong, but not much good either. So, let it be. Not sure about Europe. We’ll see.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Perhaps the Turks declare war today, and we see a welcomed resurgence of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE!

  • '21 '20 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13

    Or collapse?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    LOL Possible.

    But I don’t think so.  I think the Turks would kick ass - and surprise the world.  A lighting fast strike…

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