By Sal Bommarito
The president made a speech today to clear up a few things about his strategy to eliminate ISIS. He did so in front of a somewhat receptive crowd of service men and women.
Most importantly, Obama reiterated his policy that the U.S. will not put boots on the ground except to advise local forces in Iraq and Syria. Yesterday, his Joint Chief of Staffs Chairman told Congress that ground troops would be a possibility if things did not proceed as hoped for against ISIS.
What this policy does not take into account is whether the locals are able and willing to fight. Able relates to Iraqi forces that deserted at the first sight of ISIS forces. The willing relates to the Iran-backed militias that will fight ISIS but hate the U.S. And finally, no one really knows whether Sunnis in Iraq will resist Sunni ISIS forces for the benefit of Iraq, which has oppressed them in recent years.
The president also mentioned the broad coalition he is forming. Frankly, there is not much real military help from any nations except Great Britain and France, which agreed to some limited air operations. All the other offers are for training, ground support and assistance in cutting off ISIS’ cash flow. Americans should resign themselves to the fact that our tax dollars are going to be spent big time in this conflict. I have seen no estimates on this point.
The president’s oration was quite good, and he praised America and our military for all they do for nations with problems. Everyone calls the White House when there is a crisis, even when they are critical of our lifestyle and politics.
The question still remains, does the president have the guts to do the right things and to lead the fight against the terrorists that are ravaging Iraq and Syria?