The U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS is to use the Iraqi army and the Free Syrian Army as ground troops while we provide air power. Can that work and is it realistic to not put boots on the ground?
CNS News reports that Russia’s ambassador in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin warned during a session of the Human Rights Council that the Free Syrian Army “no longer exists.”
The information comes from his interpretation of a recent report by a U.N.-mandated independent commission of inquiry.
The commission in its report,” Borodavkin told the council through a translator, “recognizes that the Syrian government is working against a huge army of trained armed terrorists.”
“The Free Syrian Army no longer exists,” he continued. “Armed groups qualified as ‘moderate’ are closely coordinating their activities with terrorist groups.”
It is important to remember that Russia is an ally of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.
The report doesn’t say the Free Syrian Army doesn’t exist but it does say “ideological, political, tribal and personal” divisions and rivalries among rebel groups had prevented them from becoming more effective, and that “[e]fforts by external backers to reinforce the so-called ‘vetted moderate armed opposition’ failed to reverse the dominance of radical armed groups.”
The report also says that where “groups labeled as moderate” scored military successes against the regime they did so “closely coordinating with extremist groups, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.”
Others say the Free Syrian Army is mostly composed of military personnel who have defected from Assad’s armed forces, and that they have already engaged in battles against ISIS militants.
On Saturday, the Free Syrian Army said they won’t join the US-led coalition unless they have assurances an effort will be made to destroy the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Sen. Manchin said on Neil Cavuto’s show this afternoon that it is too costly and risky to train the Syrian rebels. Manchin said it was some of these rebels who sold Steven Sotloff to ISIS. Manchin wants to see the nations in the region take on the fight. He would prefer to see the flow of money to ISIS stopped. He does not see ISIS aka ISIL aka IS as an immediate threat to the United States.
Many Democrats say there is no point fighting at all because we can’t destroy them.
Naturally we can’t completely defeat them. There will always be terrorists but we need to do more than give up. We could break the back of this group.
Manchin expressed the sentiments of most Democrats who want to contain them by cutting off funds. There is no reasonable way to do that.
One thing Democrats are saying that we can all agree with is we need to cut the funds from Saudi Arabia and Qatar but what they are missing is that ISIS is now self-sufficient because of proceeds from their oil fields and criminal enterprises.
There was a bipartisan 273-156 vote in favor of training and arming the Syrian rebels. It came after days of debate, according to USA Today.
“I will support any measure that will lead to the destruction of ISIS,” said Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
Democrats also supported the measure but they won’t support sending ground troops.
It is estimated that it would take a minimum of a year to train the Free Syrian Army. By then ISIS will be far more powerful and the Free Syrian Army will still be no match for them.
Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the U.N., was on Greta Van Susteren this evening and said that the U.S. must coordinate with the Syrian government. Churkin said ISIS used chlorine weapons not Bashar al-Assad. There was a recent chemical attack but Churkin said it is still under investigation.
Churkin said the Syrian war has always been about terrorism and they have warned Mr. Obama about that. He mentioned that there are other terrorist groups besides ISIS in Syria like al Nusra.
The rebels have defeated the regime forces in the Golan Heights which alarms Israel which has “relative calm for over 45 years on its borders with Syria when they were under the control of Bashar al-Assad, his father Hazfez before him”, according to Middle East Eye, a new online publication that says it is an independent news source that presents news from a Middle East perspective. The rebels, they report, include al-Nusra.
Al-Assad also protected Christians who are now being killed in large numbers or driven from their towns.
The Washington Post wrote in October 2013 that U.S. intelligence analysts estimate that more than 20,000 have been trained to fight for government-backed militias by Assad’s ally Iran and the Hezbollah militant network it sponsors. The training is part of a covert training program everyone seems to know about. Arms and tanks have also been provided.
In October, the Washington Post reported that “11 of the largest armed factions in Syria, including some backed by the United States, announced the formation of an alliance with a goal of creating an Islamic state. The alliance is led by Jabhat al-Nusra, a group that has sworn allegiance to the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.”
The rebels total about 100,000. U.S. intelligence officials said that as many as 20,000 of those are considered “extremists” with militant Islamist agendas.
The hard-liners like ISIS and al-Nusra are draining the moderate rebel groups.
The CIA said there is an urgent need to bolster moderate forces that are losing ground.
Both General Dempsey, Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno, and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said recently that troops on the ground will be necessary to defeat ISIS.
The Iraqi army cannot and won’t drive ISIS back much less destroy them.
The Kurds are capable of fighting ISIS but we haven’t given them support.
President Obama’s spokesperson Josh Earnest suggested today that troops in Iraq, if they are deployed, would not be engaged in combat but would serve as advisers.
How does that work?
If they are attacked, are they supposed to surrender?
If the U.S. were to put troops on the ground, they would first need to get rid of the rules of engagement which put our military in an impossible situation.
The coalition President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry talk about is still nonexistent.