By Sal Bommarito
Many concerned Americans believe it is time for President Obama to give us a full accounting of the ISIS situation. Hostilities have dragged on too long without any substantive input from the administration or the Department of Defense.
Here is a list of questions that should be answered by the president and/or his advisers.
-What is the present condition of ISIS forces? Are they increasing in size? What types of weapons are they employing?
-Is any outside entity supporting ISIS with weapons, money or personnel?
-What financial resources does ISIS have available? Is it still supporting its operations by commandeering oil and antiquities and selling on the black market?
-Who is leading ISIS? Where are the leaders posted? Is the U.S. attempting to kill commanders?
-How many ISIS fighters have been killed? What equipment has been destroyed? What supply lines have been closed down?
-Where are ISIS fighters located? Are they hiding in populated areas? Can they be killed without massive collateral damage?
-What exactly are our allies contributing to the war? How much money, soldiers, equipment and resources have they provided?
-When will Iran and Turkey fully engage ISIS? Are these countries at risk of an ISIS attack? Do they have the military wherewithal to repel an ISIS invasion?
-How much has the U.S. spent on the ISIS war? How much will be needed to fund the war to its conclusion?
-What is the current mission of U.S. forces? (Note: The original mission to destroy and degrade ISIS does not appear to be attainable based upon current information available.)
-What will happen geopolitically if ISIS is not defeated? Will it form a new nation on Iraq and Syria soil?
-What is the readiness level of the Iraqi military? Will it ever be able to secure the country without U.S. assistance? Will it ever be able to provide ground support needed to root out ISIS?
-Why isn’t the U.S. using ground forces? How is ISIS different from Al Qaeda, against whom the U.S. employed both air power and ground troops?
-How is the war going to end? Who will speak for ISIS?
-Is there any indication of how many Americans and westerners have enlisted with ISIS? Can these people travel freely back to their homelands and other countries? What is the U.S. doing to prevent acts of terror by these individuals?
-Will Congress authorize the war? When will Congress deliberate on the actions taken in Iraq and Syria? Does the president have the power to continue fighting in perpetuity without congressional approval?
-What are the risks of terror operations in America?
It is inexcusable for the president to leave Americans in the dark about such an important moment in history. It is equally outrageous that the press has not pushed harder to obtain more information about the status of the war. The Middle East is about to be redrawn under duress. Yet, the media has not demanded answers to basic questions.