Mark Caserta: US must ramp up campaign against ISIS

20 Jun

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

Jun. 18, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

The world has now sustained months of unrelenting atrocities by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). We’ve witnessed barbaric beheadings, victims burned alive and a strategic cleansing of Christians refusing to embrace the Muslim religion. Yet, the president of the United States still lacks a strategy to defeat them.

Last week, in a news conference following the Group of 7 summit meeting in Germany, Obama admitted to the world that “we don’t have, yet, a complete strategy” for addressing the threat posed by ISIS. He claims that after nearly a year and a half of the United States and its allies grappling with this group of Islamic terrorists, “the details are not worked out.”

The president’s failure to recognize ISIS as a grave threat early on certainly hampered strategies to squelch their advances. Some may recall that in January 2014 Obama compared ISIS to a “junior varsity basketball team,” playing down the strengths of ISIS, compared with Al Qaeda.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a J.V. team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Mr. Obama told David Remnick of The New Yorker. That same month, ISIS seized Fallujah, a city in Anbar Province, Iraq, and parts of Ramadi, the province’s capital.

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A few months later, as the military prowess of the group became known, the president was questioned about his strategy for addressing the threat that he dramatically understated. Yet he still lacked urgency.

The president has been clear as to what his strategy won’t be!

“I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” Obama told reporters. “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no military solution to the larger crisis there.”

So, the president claims he can defeat ISIS with coalition air power. But a recent Wall Street Journal article reveals the Obama coalition’s air campaign against ISIS pales in comparison to strategic air campaigns waged by presidents since the end of the Cold War, which were deemed successful.

During the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition planes flew 48,224 strike sorties, or roughly 1,100 a day. 12 years later, the 31-day Iraqi Freedom campaign averaged more than 800 sorties a day. But the Obama “campaign” against ISIS, now approaching nine months, has only averaged about seven sorties a day! With ISIS now in control of an area around 50,000 square miles, it’s easy to see why these efforts haven’t been effective.

If indeed, Obama plans to decimate ISIS with coalition air power, he should take the lead in increasing the number of strikes commensurate with prior successful air campaigns.

And despite how much we dislike the thought, we must have sufficient ground troops to facilitate coordinated surgical strikes against the enemy.

Protecting America must take precedent over protecting Obama’s legacy.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

One Response to “Mark Caserta: US must ramp up campaign against ISIS”

  1. Brittius June 21, 2015 at 4:36 am #

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

    Like

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