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08 September 2014


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Peter C

In Stars and Stripes today was an article laying out how Contractors will be used instead of Boot On the Ground. The political calculus is that Contractors ave viewed differently politically by the voters.


Interesting analysis by Larry Johnson. I disagree with his last two sentences. I do believe that Obama understands that extensive ground forces are going to be needed to destroy ISIS. I think Obama also understands that it should not be US ground forces that do so. Obama is a skilled politician and he must know, by now, that the American people will not support sending US forces into Iraq to destroy ISIS.

If the goal is to destroy ISIS, there is really only one thing the US can do. And that is to provide tactical air support for those countries willing to send in combat troops to take on ISIS. As far as I can see is that finding those ground forces will be difficult. Iraq, of course, but their military has been so degraded it might take months if not years to develop effective units. The Kurds are another source but they will need to develop a military that engages in conventional warfare, so far they have fought as guerillas against conventional forces. Syria has the experience, but right now they are occupied in Western Syria suppressing US, Turkish, Saudi and Qatar backed rebels. This leaves the Iranians. They might very well be able to provide the needed infantry.

On this last point: Now wouldn't that be ironic?


Regarding the Sunni Awakening: the first one succeeded because the Iraqi government (with the US standing behind it) promised to make an effort to accomodate Sunni interests in the government. Sunni militants were convinced to open their mouths and take this made-in-america medicine.

The medicine didn't work. They are not going to be convinced to take it again. The Iraq government isn't likely to offer it either.

ISIS cannot be destroyed. ISIS can only be contained.


McCrystal and his methods created more terrorists than they killed. His mass introduction of torture (the CIA wasn't even allowed to visit his jails because the torture there was too endemic) and killing of whole families on someones say-so is what gave new life to the Taliban and what fed AQI and now ISIS.

McCrystals method have proven to be unsuccessful in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. Despite his mass killing the situation in neither of this countries is any better than it was before McCrystal's campaign. In each of this countries are now more enemies than before.

How can anyone believe that more of the same would do ANY good?


TS, my two cents. Relatively amateur as it is. There is NO force, none, other than US forces, that will GO INTO THE DESERT AND SEEK THESE GUYS OUT TO KILL THEM. There may be, repeat, may be, groups that will fight ISIS, if and when ISIS comes to them, and they have to fight. Some in this group will fight better than others in the group. i.e. the Syrians and Hezbollah.

There are many groups that will join us in seeking ISIS out in their territory. But only if there are lots and lots of US military on the ground.


@PeterC, Mercenaries ARE viewed differently. As they should be. That said, the public will soon be far less enamored with the full-on mercenary approach once the bills start piling up. And the warnings of those of us about not relying on mercenaries will begin to come true.



In reply to Peter C 08 September 2014 at 10:59 PM

The word you're looking for is mercenaries. The reasons why it's a very bad idea to use them are too well known and have been for centuries for me to waste everyone's time repeating them.




'endemic torture'. Do you have anything to actually substantiate that allegation?

The beaver


Article in The Atlantic circa 2009:

What happened at Camp NAMA?



As bad as the conduct of the task force was "Endemic" and "killing of whole families on someone's say so" are not supported by either article.


In reply to RetiredPatriot, that was my thoughs also when I read that the use of Mercenaries would be the Boots On The Ground force paid for by the U.S. taxpayers and borrowed monies. Since hindsight is a powerful tool, I do think that there were no lessons learned from the imidiate past about using hired guns and support systems.

What will happen if hundreds of U.S. hired mercinaries get shot up, dead, and captured in a full on confrontation. It will happen the way ISIS apears to be capapble of.

Dr. K

When those Blackwater mercenaries were killed on the bridge in Fallujah they got what all mercenaries deserve.


Dr. K,

How insightful. The many Americans and Iraqi's who wound up dead after the Blackwater response to those four men getting killed is just one more thing for people like you to be self rightous about. Wait for Obama's speech tonight and let me know your thoughts when he continues the Bush era regime change mandate for Syria as a solution to ISIS.


Dr. K,

Those aren't the meatheads that gave you wedgies in high school and college. You should let it go.

Mark Logan


The lack of public support for another US occupation in the ME and the political suicide it would be to openly advocate for Assad to win is cause to question your last conclusion.

Perhaps they do know.

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