As President Obama unveils his strategy against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, critical questions remain unanswered:
- Why is the U.S. strategy focused so extensively on military measures when the President himself has stated, and many experts agree, that overcoming the threat posed by ISIS is fundamentally a political problem that will require political solutions?
- Why do we think limited military efforts will succeed now when more robust military measures over the past decade were unable to bring stability and security to Iraq? When will we learn, as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in 2008, that “we cannot kill or capture our way to victory” in the fight against terrorism and insurgency?
- Why does the President says there will be no ‘boots on the ground’ when he has already sent hundreds of U.S. military advisers to Iraq? How will we avoid the slippery slope of deeper military involvement if American advisers are killed or kidnapped?
- How do we ensure that the weapons we provide to local militias in Iraq and Syria are not used against us or our allies in the region? News reports indicate that some of the weapons recently recovered from ISIS fighters in Iraq were made in the U.S.
- How is it possible to fight against the enemies of the Assad regime in Syria without helping that regime?