The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, “boots on the ground.” It sounds macho.
You hear the argument about 24,000 or 10,000 or 5,000 troops that should have stayed in Iraq, suggesting that a continued presence would have resolved the problem.
Does anyone really believe that our presence over there for one year, two years, three years or 20 years, will really change anything? At what point do we finally withdraw and watch the inevitable return to tribal and religious warfare? The Sunni and the Shiites have been killing each other for time eternal and will continue to do so.
Do we just continue to occupy various regions in the Middle East forever? Do we watch our body count and injured list grow as Americans come home in body bags or with missing arms and legs?
I am incensed over the fear tactics being used by retired military, political pundits, senators, congressional candidates and talking heads on TV to justify an expanded presence by American troops in the Middle East.
The prevention of further terrorist attacks has everything to do with good intelligence and surgical elimination of those capable of planning and exercising such actions. All those years and trillions of dollars spent on the field of battle did not stop the threat. It still exists. Syria will not make a difference, either. If Iraq cannot defend itself with a well-equipped and trained army of over a half-million, we can’t help them anymore.
If we destroyed all estimated 30,000 ISIS terrorists tomorrow, there would be 30,000 more at the gate looking for free food, clothing, weapons, licenses to kill and the freedom to do so. Radical Islam has infinite numbers from which to recruit. Trying to militarily defeat an ideology or religious demagoguery historically has never worked. Islam has to cure itself.
There are 16 countries in the Mideast that have standing armies, including an air force and a navy. Turkey and Egypt have a combined force of over 2 million. Jordan has a standing army of over 200,000. Iraq has over a half a million people in uniform. None of the rich oil countries — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain —have spent a dime or a drop of blood fighting radical Islam. However, they have been proven to support radical Islam and terrorist acts across the world. Joe Biden, who is no friend of mine, mentioned that fact and had to make a round of apologies for telling the truth instead of being politically correct. Oh yes, oil is a big player in the scheme of things, as it always has been. The sheiks are laughing it up, and we are walking around with the word “sucker” painted on our collective forehead.
Syria has a well-equipped army, literally 10 times the size of their invader’s army. We don’t like Syria, but then, who does? And who cares if they are fighting ISIS? After what I have heard of the rape and plunder, butchering, mass murders and decapitating going on over there, it’s OK with me if the Syrians use whatever means necessary to combat radical Islam. Maybe they will manage to decimate each other.
We had a great military victory with “Stormin’ Norman’s” rout of the Iraq army, but consider some things in retrospect.
In Iraq, over 4,000 have died and over 32,000 Americans were wounded. Almost every hard-won, bloodied inch of ground has now returned to the control of terrorists. It was a political defeat, not a military one.
In Afghanistan, over 3,000 American have died, including “contractors,” and 18,000 — and counting — have been wounded. What the devil are they thinking in Washington? This is not a football game. Tribal and religious differences there define a culture as old as time. Certainly in our absence, that culture will continue on with all of the usual savagery and ignorance.
A statement I heard a political pundit make a few days ago gives us a clear picture of the wrong direction we are headed in as a nation.
He said, “We need Turkey as an ally!”
Excuse me, check the map. The war is in the Middle East. It’s on their borders, not ours. It’s their war, not ours. ISIS is a regional threat literally on another continent and is a weak one at that, considering the armies that can be fielded against them locally. It is the absence of any resistance by the Mideastern countries that has provided ISIS with the ability to progress as far as it has.
A million Turkish and Egyptian troops on the battlefield can provide the political pundits and the talking heads their much-sought-after “target acquisition” capability, but for Mideastern fighter planes — not ours. We need to concentrate on our borders and our internal security. That would certainly include some far-reaching fingers in the intelligence community.
Boots on the ground?