By Sal Bommarito
The International New York Times reported that Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated that boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria could be an option “if airstrikes can’t stop ISIS.” This is “close to” a contradiction of President Obama’s definitive statement that there would be no boots on the ground, and the first time that I am aware of that a person affiliated to the Obama administration has spoken frankly about the ground troop issue.
In my last post, I claimed that the president has not managed the expectations of Americans about the ISIS conflict. The fact is, shooting at ISIS fighters from 64,000 feet may result in a great number of casualties, but it is doubtful that the terrorist force will be made extinct.
Another issue that has not been addressed is what the Iraq and Syria situations will evolve into if ISIS is destroyed. In Iraq, the Shia and Sunnis will resume their civil war. Shiites have not forgotten or forgiven the cruelty of Saddam Hussein. It is their turn to disenfranchise Sunnis in punishment for their oppression. Of course, Sunnis together with insurgents from Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations in the region will not stand by and allow their compatriots to be abused without a fight.
In Syria, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and a host of other Arab states will once again demand that Assad step down. Rebels in the country will turn from ISIS to the Assad regime, and the regime will respond with large doses of violence.
Many Americans are concerned that Iraq and Syria are hopeless cases. Whack-a Mole is exactly what the ISIS invasion is. The violence will not end for some time with or without ISIS.
The Obama administration should step up and tell us what it thinks Iraq and Syria will be in one, two and three years.