All the blustery babble about the U.S. going in and taking out those ISIS bastards is completely ridiculous. I've heard no one do a better job breaking it down than Colonel Jack Jacobs did on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Stephen asks Jacobs why don't the regional powers in the area work together to form a coalition? Jacobs explains that it's because the nations in question are at each other's throats like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. They hate each other. They can't unite to solve the problem. The Turks, the Saudis and the Iranians all have impressive air forces, but there are too many problems between the countries to act unilaterally to defeat the terrorist extremists created in the wake of the illegal Iraq invasion.
Colbert asks Jacobs if this problem would still exist even if we hadn't taken out Saddam Hussein. He said it's not very likely that this ISIS clusterf*ck would have arisen, as the despot did keep this extremist element in check.
If the world is so united against ISIS, why can't we just take care of the problem? What would it take militarily? Jacobs explains that to wage a successful ground operation, which is what must follow an air campaign, we'd need several hundred thousand troops on the ground. It would take another commitment of ten years, and even then, the success of any operation is not a sure thing. These people are not your typical enemy. They are eager to die for their cause. This creates a rather difficult quandary.
COLBERT: What should the United States be doing right now to try to destroy ISIS, because they have NOTHING to negotiate? They're not looking for anything from us.
JACOBS: No, no, everything's non-negotiable, they want you to die, and they want to die themselves, it's just a matter of time.
COLBERT: Well, how do we give that to them? *laughter
JACOBS: Well, there are a couple of things to consider here: the first is you're not going to be able to do it by dropping conventional bombs on people. Militarily, the only purpose for bombs is to pave the way for people on the ground to seize and hold terrain long enough to create an environment in which there can be a real government to take out the trash. We're not doing it and it takes a quarter of a million people to do it just in Syria.
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COLBERT: Any good news, Colonel?
JACOBS: Well, I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.
Jacobs is smart enough to know that the country can no more afford a war of this magnitude, nor does the U.S. population want to entangle the children of the poor in another war in the Middle East.