Conservative columnists agree: Go to war in Iraq and Syria, don’t occupy them

posted at 10:01 am on August 22, 2014 by Noah Rothman

The Islamic State is not a familiar terrorist threat in the way in which Americans have come to understand Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the post-9/11 world. That does not mean that this group does not intend, and may successfully execute, conventional terrorist attacks against Western targets – they would like nothing more. But this group’s sophistication, its reach, its ability to self-finance, to recruit, and to endure are “beyond anything that we’ve seen,” according to Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel.

“They’re beyond just a terrorist group,” he told reporters on Thursday. The top Pentagon official warned that the Islamic State represents “an imminent threat to every interest we have.”

Strong language; words which have meaning and which demand action. Not only is ISIS’s very existence a threat to human dignity and the shared heritage of mankind, but it is a direct and pressing threat to U.S. national security interests. They must be stopped.

The public and this administration are, however, understandably concerned about the prospect of another ground war in Iraq. An American people, snake bit after a decade of war, do not welcome the prospect of reliving that experience. The public’s resistance to returning to Iraq has, however, begun to break down amid the rise of this threat to humanity.

When President Barack Obama announced his belated decision to mount U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, he did so with the support of bipartisan majorities. “There were no demonstrations in protest,” observed conservative columnist Peggy Noonan. “Even the pope didn’t protest.”

She noted that Americans continue to fear a new occupation and rightfully so, but the mission here is not a return to the Iraq War of 2003 – 2010. This is going to be something quite different: a purely military mission to throttle the nascent Islamic State power in its crib.

We tell ourselves that we do not want to go back to Iraq, and we don’t—all the polls show this. But facing up to what ISIS is and what it plans to do is not returning to Iraq in that we are not talking about nation-building, quixotic exercises in democracy-bringing, or underwriting governments ruled by incompetents. We are talking about other things.

“Continue bombing ISIS where potentially efficacious, as heavily and for as long as needed,” she added. “This week’s bombing forced them to give up the dam they’d seized at Mosul, an act that left ISIS looking, for the first time in its history, reduced and stoppable.”

She adds that Obama should also seek congressional authorization for continued action in Iraq, which would force him to speak honestly and openly about the scope of America’s present involvement in that country. Up to now, the White House has been insulting the public by using coded language to hide the scale of the U.S. military’s present level of engagement in the Middle East.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer observed that Obama’s rationale for continued strikes in Iraq — the protection of American assets in Baghdad and Erbil — were undone when American airstrikes began to target ISIS positions around the strategically vital Mosul dam. The administration’s claim was that it was protecting American personnel in Baghdad because, if the dam was breached, they may be threatened.

“Quite a reach,” Krauthammer noted. “An air war to prevent flooding at an embassy 200 miles downstream? Well yes, but why not say the real reason? Everyone knows it: The dam is a priceless strategic asset, possession of which alters the balance of power in this war.”

“And why not state the real objective of the U.S. air campaign?” he asked. “Stopping, containing, degrading the Islamic State.”

The Islamic State is overstretched. It’s a thin force of perhaps 15,000 trying to control a territory four times the size of Israel. Its supply lines are not just extended but exposed and highly vulnerable to air power.

The mission Krauthammer describes does not appear to require a significant American ground force, though it would be one which would only be effective in Iraq. The Islamic State’s stronghold in Syria will require an entirely different strategy, one far more robust and which may require putting American service personnel in harm’s way. But rolling back the Islamic State in Iraq is an acceptable short-term goal, and the American people should be informed that this is the mission in which their military is presently engaged.

Those opposed to going to war to rid the world of ISIS worry that achieving that objective will require more commitment than most are willing to admit. And it is possible that the American national interests at stake in this region, while appreciable, are not threatened to the degree that would merit a return of tens of thousands of American troops to Iraq. At least, not yet.

These are worthwhile debates to have, and Americans need to have an honest discussion about this threat. It is a discussion that must be led by their president. It seems, however, that some conservatives are beginning to observe that those who object to a military solution to the Islamic State threat rest their argument on the claim that it heralds a new occupation of Iraq. This is a straw man argument. The vast majority of Americans of every political stripe do not want to reoccupy that country, and this is not on the table. Destroying ISIS, however, is.

The last decade has demonstrated that the American military is not especially good at nation-building. They are, however, exceptional at getting at and destroying the enemy. Fortunately for them, all that would be asked of them this time is the latter.


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This should be US Policy:

All stick and no carrot. And blunt force, civilian causalities are not our problem.

Oil Can on August 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM

It would not take that long if the rules of engagement are in line with the notion that these guys need to be destroyed. Go in, destroy them and get out and let that be a lesson to any other group that tries to do the same.

major dad on August 22, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Go back in overwhelming force, conquer them, pacify them and take their f**king oil. Unrestricted warfare.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Why ask conservative columnists, we need to ask the Nobel Peace Prize winning preznit who is the one who can actually make things happen.

What say you, lefties, blasting people to bits with the approval of the Nobel Committee is pretty damn cool, yes?

Bishop on August 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Yep, no more of this wishy washy war/peacekeeping. If we are going, let’s go old school.

Never going to happen though. The press and the world would moral equivalency arguments all over the place, and post pictures of dead civilians. Normandy Beach would not have been successful for America, if held today with today’s media.

melle1228 on August 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

We the Americans are not the laughing stock of the world.

The msm liar for the loon liberal anti war John Kerry, Bill Cliton,B. Obama are the root cause and total reason together with the hapless RINO invested middle of the road want to be media types.

Do not back down, stand up, vote, inform others ourselves do not rely on the media to do any thing needed, it is U.S. after all who go out in the jungles, the deserts and wade ashore under fire, not the leaders for sure and not these finger fighters of the media.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Those opposed to going to war to rid the world of ISIS worry that achieving that objective will require more commitment than most are willing to admit. And it is possible that the American national interests at stake in this region, while appreciable, are not threatened to the degree that would merit a return of tens of thousands of American troops to Iraq. At least, not yet.

Get them now, before they grow to become that imminent threat. Which was kind of Bush’s point in going into Iraq back in 2003.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Do not back down, stand up, vote, inform others ourselves do not rely on the media to do any thing needed, it is U.S. after all who go out in the jungles, the deserts and wade ashore under fire, not the leaders for sure and not these finger fighters of the media.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Personally I haven’t relied on believed the media, any of it, since 1968.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Iraq should be treated as Japan and Germany were in WWII; no mercy, fight to win. Defeat them and then occupy them with a military governorship until such a time that they can govern themselves. Following the W doctrine of defeat the enemy and then let them develop a functional government didn’t work and won’t work.

Robbin Hood on August 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Strong language; words which have no meaning and which demand no action.

Fixed that for you Noah.

This is all just doublespeak from the administration. “The chocolate ration went up 5 percent during the last 5 year plan. The chocolate ration went up 3 percent during the last 5 year plan as predicted.”

Get it Noah?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Get congressional authority for cripe sakes

cmsinaz on August 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

This too, our honor will not be fully restored until some of the most guilty such as mr treason Lt. for life John F.Kerry is in the dock of the U.S. Navy for his long over due Captains Mast.

It will be a long hard road, we left our fate up to those who only wanted the trinkets from the gold or as with those like B. Obama who carry out the plans of the William Ayers planted hate and vile.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Considering how the leftists are already on board with bombings and drone strikes so long as they have Obama’s name on them, I doubt even a lot of Democrats would oppose going after ISIS and risk looking weak (as usual) on foreign policy.

I agree on occupation being the wrong course of action, though. It’s what led to America eventually getting bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan whereas we should have been more focused on eradicating the worst elements of Al-Qaeda and apprehending/killing bin Laden.

I just think certain people need to realize that large parts of the Middle East are still decades or centuries behind the civilized, Western world and that isn’t going to change no matter America does, nor will it change within a few years. It’s a cultural problem that is plaguing much of the Middle East, and until the culture itself adapts, you won’t see democracies rising up left and right.

Aizen on August 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Go back in overwhelming force, conquer them, pacify them and take their f**king oil. Unrestricted warfare.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

We’re not going to war with Iraq. We’re going to war with ISIS. Drive them out and let Iraq have their country back.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

I just don’t see any of this happening. I’m not even sure anymore that even if the US took another direct hit from the islamist, we would do that which is necessary. I hope to be proved wrong.

Bmore on August 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM

To follow these Democrats and those who make silly excuses for their failure is to march ourselves and the U.S.A. into a self made death march.

Follow fools and get a fools reward.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM

We’re not going to war with Iraq. We’re going to war with ISIS. Drive them out and let Iraq have their country back.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

We did that once. How’d it work out? If we don’t stay and take responsibility it’s just going to happen again. We need to go in and plan to stay and exert control over the entire area.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

LIBS: But won’t bombing simply be a recruiting tool for more terrorists?

My answer: Bomb the recruits, too!

Deano1952 on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Get congressional authority for cripe sakes

cmsinaz on August 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

King Barry hates having to answer to anybody.

However, last year he tried to get Congress to come along and give him authorization to get Assad. He did it for political purposes only (not that the Constitution demands it) but he might as well convince himself that it would be wise to do in this case as well.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Obama still hates conservatives more than terrorists!!

Deano1952 on August 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM

How about Obama and Biden just throw in the towel and go on permanent vacation?

albill on August 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM

We did that once. How’d it work out? If we don’t stay and take responsibility it’s just going to happen again. We need to go in and plan to stay and exert control over the entire area.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

So we will be occupiers.

Look, I don’t entirely disagree with you, but you’re never going to get the American people to agree with you.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Obama still hates conservatives more than terrorists!!

Deano1952 on August 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM

No doubt.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Six months ago Sarah Palin proclaimed that Waterboarding
is how we Baptize Terrorists…and she was roundly derided,
mocked, and ridiculed for her rhetoric…

Now we are having these discussions all across the country..

we have one of our own Citizens beheaded….

Some understand the ways of the World, and what NEEDS to be done…

others become Mail-it-In Presidents…

Keep it up jackazzes….keep following the Golf Clubbing Clod..

ToddPA on August 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

The vast majority of Americans of every political stripe do not want to reoccupy that country, and this is not on the table. Destroying ISIS, however, is.

LOL

So, your mother wants you to be a podiatrist, but would disown you if you became a chiropodist.

corona79 on August 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

No question about it the war is from Islam aginst U.S..

What Winstion Churchill said and never forget the Democrats will if given a chance will have the country cut and run and cut U.S. off at the knees as we fight to win.

It is a simple as that but the media even the so called conservative media does not want to admit that fully 30% of Americans wish the county ill. Together with the sad fact these unAmerican 1960′s commies have been getting away with it for 40 years or more now.

Just say no.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Six months ago Sarah Palin proclaimed that Waterboarding
is how we Baptize Terrorists…and she was roundly derided,
mocked, and ridiculed for her rhetoric…

Now we are having these discussions all across the country..

[snip]

ToddPA on August 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Who is discussing water boarding again all over the country?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

So we will be occupiers.

Yes

Look, I don’t entirely disagree with you, but you’re never going to get the American people to agree with you.

Bitter Clinger on August 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM

On that we agree. But in my opinion it’s what’s necessary to defeat the terrorists. There is only one way to win this war. Make it not worth the risk or consequences of attacking America. Nothing less will work. Change the environment of the world so that harboring anyone who attacks us is tantamount to certain destruction. Remove all terrorist safe havens.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Who is discussing water boarding again all over the country?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Not me. I’m more in the “Nuke ‘em ’till they glow, then shoot ‘em in the dark” category.

Turtle317 on August 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

I say we take off and nuke them all from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.

Tom Servo on August 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

We could take ISIS out with few US casualties, and do it by lunch next Thursday. Those barbarians wouldn’t stand a chance. And GEN Dempsey is right–we will have to it in Syria, too.

Conservative Mischief on August 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Bitter Clinger,

Better to be the ones on top than the ones on the bottom, you think they think like us. They think you “will” have your head cut off by them and that is all they work for 24/7 + 1,000 years.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Before they arrive can we get orange jumpsuits handed out to every Obama voter so ISIS can id their targets. They own this.

hillsoftx on August 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM

War is only effective if it’s total war. We haven’t don’t that since WWII. I don’t know if the politicians, especially Obama, have the stomach for that.

PattyJ on August 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

ISIS was pre-made in the Koran 2,000 years ago, ISIS is just the tip of the islamic ice berg.

We are dealing with a 2,000 year old war cult of death.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Before they arrive can we get orange jumpsuits handed out to every Obama voter so ISIS can id their targets. They own this.

hillsoftx on August 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Abso-freakin-loutly!

captnjoe on August 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

That would be a 1400 year old cult of death, but why quibble over details.

captnjoe on August 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The thing Bush screwed up on was thinking that you can create a democratic republic out of any Muslim country. Islam and democracy just are not compatible and pretending otherwise is just plain stupid.
Our constitution was meant for a moral and religious people and we aren’t even that anymore – and look what’s going down in Rome – I mean the USA. I’m all for preemptively taking out ISIS, but let’s not then try to build a Democracy in Iraq, ok?

Free Indeed on August 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Bomb them back to the stone age, leave. Simple.

Leave not terrorist, sympathizer, or enabler unscathed. Set an example they can relate to.

The only difference between the right and wrong sides during the brutality of war is the motivation for the violence.

captnjoe on August 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM

The photo shows C-17s. Which makes sense, because we’re probably going to end up with a few “surgical strikes”, some “kinetic military actions”, and a lot of “humanitarian missions”.

If we’re very lucky, this could end up like Kosovo. A festering ulcer that doesn’t die, but doesn’t spread, either.

It’s more probable that due to the chronic inability of progressives to admit that anyone as anti-civilization as this lot is a real threat even after it bites them on the a$$, we’ll end up with ISIS & Co. doing to that region what the Communists did to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in 1975. Including the genocides.

The difference being that this bunch won’t stop once they’ve killed everybody the don’t like over there.

They’ll come over here then. And another shock for progressives; they won’t acknowledge you as bosom pals because you hate our civilization, too.

They’ll likely kill you first. They didn’t aim 9/11 at New York City and Washington by accident, you know.

Or do you?

clear ether

eon

eon on August 22, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Start with the engine generating all the fanatics–destroy all mosques and Imams. Then go after the refuse produced by them-the terrorists.

MaiDee on August 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

The media lies, lies kill, the larger the lie the more death.

Seek truth, facts and act on these for our own intrest not that of fools who would have U.S. undone total.

The hard thing is to admit to the evil within ourselves those who enter the vote area in the same school in our on towns and cities.

They look just like U.S. they drive cars, they have kids, they have jobs and many go to church.

Yet this self hate of the U.S. has grown inside them and U.S. until it is a danger to U.S. and to themselves.

We are indeed the sheep dogs who must cut down the wolves who seek to eat the flock, and too we must deal with the sheep who open the borders to the wolves and bleet out the location of the flock with these bleeting fools sounds and deeds.

Just have to do the job and not be distracted by the lies and fraud.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

While I am not an advocate of making Iraq the world’s foremost purveyor of “glow-in-the-dark glass”, I would be in favor of what Curtis LeMay once advised, i.e.; bombing them back to the Stone Age. Not too long of a trip for those evil beings. Having said that, however, it’s not going to happen. We have too many citizens whose only knowledge of history is Hollyweird’s version. Not enough people who actually stand up for liberty. And we haven’t had leadership in this country since Mr. Reagan went home to California. Don’t forget, the Communists controlled the Soviet Union. And Communist party membership was never more than 5% of the total population.

oldleprechaun on August 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM

This should be our ISIS strategy:

1. Find them

2. Kill them

3. Come home

myiq2xu on August 22, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Obama should not start a fight he is not willing to finish by totally crushing the enemy.

Dilettante dithering, posturing and harsh words won’t get it done.

He won’t do it, because he would have to admit he was w w w w w rong.

Not.gonna.happen.

dogsoldier on August 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

On Pres. King Putt Putt Golf:

The huge sirking smile as he went back to the Putt Putt life,, it was there because he is doing exactly what his evil plan has always been and he sees U.S. being brought to our knees before the world is his most wished for moment.

Sort of “happy happy” evil.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

We did that once. How’d it work out? If we don’t stay and take responsibility it’s just going to happen again. We need to go in and plan to stay and exert control over the entire area.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Perhaps the Iraqis now understand what they have and how easily it could be lost.

Those who fail to confront evil are evil.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

‘beyond anything we’ve seen’ … Yeah, a terrorist army that can also put a JV basketball squad on the hardwood ! And likely win, if they’re playing the Obama dopers.

steveracer on August 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Noonan’s a Conservative?

Last I looked, she voted for the Choom Gang.

That said, if you go to war, fight to win, imprison traitors and fellow travelers, and occupy like you mean it – deNazify and execute resistance. Stamp it out.

formwiz on August 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Bombing IS will help Assad. Putin wins. 0b00ba’s self-beclownment proceeds apace.

Akzed on August 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Conservative columnists agree: Go to war in Iraq and Syria, don’t occupy them

It should be pointed out that “Go to war” in this context cannot mean expending tens of thousands of dollars in fuel and ordinance to take out a $2000 piece of artillery.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

The addition is easy math.

LBJ
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
Al Gore
John Kerry
B. Obama
Nancy Pelosi
Harry Reid
Joe “slow” Biden
Chuck Schummer
Ms Clinton
William Ayers
Earth First
Greenpeace

add it up.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Bombing IS will help Assad. Putin wins. 0b00ba’s self-beclownment proceeds apace.

Akzed on August 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Hey that’s ISO (Islamic States of Obama). The lazy stupid rat-eared coward broke it, he gets the credit.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Bad leaders =’s Bad results.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:55 AM

So, your mother wants you to be a podiatrist, but would disown you if you became a chiropodist.

corona79 on August 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

LOL!

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on August 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Who is discussing water boarding again all over the country?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I am…have been for years now….sore spot with me.

You Never EVER take anything off the table when it comes
to waging War. Read PattyJ’s post.

ToddPA on August 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Wars must be won.
Co2 is a plant food.
You can not spend more that you produce.
There is no free lunch.
Lies kill.
Truth is life.

Deal with it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

The last decade has demonstrated that the American military is not especially good at nation-building. They are, however, exceptional at getting at and destroying the enemy. Fortunately for them, all that would be asked of them this time is the latter.

Couldn’t disagree with this statement more. US Politicians – especially democrat ones (Vietnam, Iraq) – really suck at this. The military’s record is significantly better. A SOFA would have stopped this mess where it started, by supporting the Iraqi military. The only advantage ISIS created for us at this point is it forced out Maliki, who we needed to spend more time grooming once he was elected. Foolishness.

Oh – and besides bombing ISIS into oblivion, we need to allow the Israelis do the same thing to Hamas.

Zomcon JEM on August 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Who is discussing water boarding again all over the country?

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

As to what’s being Discussed all over the country?

Fighting Terrorists….

ToddPA on August 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Evidence for the trial of B. Obama.

sorry to much data to down load…..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 11:02 AM

OK,we are here for the first disclosure info the court has ordered Mr. Pres..

All the computers were eaten by your dog””””????

APACHEWHOKNOWS on August 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

I’m sorry, but you cannot convince me anything of any consequence will be done to ISIS during this presidency, or the next.

Yes, we’ll probably target some surgical air strikes, maybe some humanitarian missions, we’ll undoubted lose some brave Special Forces guys on the ground who are directing in those air strikes.

But go to war, much less go to war effectively? No. Obama listens only to the concerns of the far left, and when forced, will do just enough optically (not actually) to placate criticism in the media.

You’ll note that Hagel is not suggesting defeating/crushing/annihilating ISIS; instead, we will contain the threat.

America emerging the winner in this contest is absolutely out of the question. Our political leaders, both right and left, and our populace don’t have the stomach for what it will take to win a war anymore.

Gaza is an example of supremely limited warfare against an Islamic enemy, and even that unbelievably restrained response-only warmaking is soundly condemned in this country by many, and considered by many more to be harsh or brutal.

WW2 was the last untelevised war and partly because of TV we’ll never win another. We will lucky enough to be able to view our defeat, however.

Dolce Far Niente on August 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Oh, no one’s interested in “occupation”? Then they’re not serious about dealing with either terrorism, foriegn policy or our national security. They’re still playing politics.

Establishing and maintaining a substantial base of operations would be the first item on my negotiation list for Iraq. We’re looking at substantial costs to haul our forces and equipment there and back, our departure destroyed relationships and access to intel we’d developed, and waiting until the situation has escalated costs us more time and money and political bs arguments than it’s worth. It doesn’t *help us to drop in and drop out, it impedes our ability to deal with these people effectively while they’re still in the cockroach stage instead of the ones staging the “occupation” we seem so opposed to.

Anyone who thinks ISIS is a form of terrorism we’ve never seen before because of it’s *organizational abilities hasn’t been looking particularly closely. They’re all organized. They’ve all got funding programs ranging from extortion to patrons, they’ve all got pr departments and community organizers we often call imams, they’ve all got organizational and administrative networks. None of this is new. What’s new is a US President and security team that ignores that at the countrys expense in order to support his party platform.

We have military and military bases for strategic purposes, not political tennis balls. It’s past time we got past using our strategic interests as a political campaign slogan. Suck it up and deal with the reality. They don’t go away just because the public got tired of hearing about it. It’s quite likely that our grandchildren will be stepping on these people just as our forebears did in Europe and Tripoli.
Get used to it.

Recon5 on August 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Whether correct or not, I did not elect conservative columnists and most aren’t conservative to begin with.

Blake on August 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Any president that won’t fight to protect the nation’s people from evil and ultimate destruction should be condemned to the history of hell.

rplat on August 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

“seek congressional authorization….would force him to speak honestly and openly…..White House has been insulting the public by using coded language”

IF Congress will not force Obama and his administration to publicly discuss and define U.S. policy in the middle east and in combatting Islamic terrorists – then I vote NO!

The foreign policy of the U.S. is “Try not to bother POTUS until Jan 2017″. Hagel was brought in to downsize the military and say Yes! to the White House. Holder & the FBI think that we can prosecute terrorists one at a time after they commit a provable crime.

The ad hoc actions of this administration are making situations worse. Someone in Washington needs to lead, and we can be certain it won’t be Obama!

pilsener on August 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Conservative columnists agree: Go to war in Iraq and Syria, don’t occupy them

That’s great. So when are they all going to go to Iraq and Syria? Peggy Noonan picking up a rifle. Go get ‘em!

lexhamfox on August 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Half life alone means we can’t go back in for what, 10,000 years?
No worries.

Tard on August 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM

“Gaza is an example of supremely limited warfare against an Islamic enemy, and even that unbelievably restrained response-only warmaking is soundly condemned in this country by many, and considered by many more to be harsh or brutal.”

Condemned because it was the JOOS!! Anyone else, it would just be tsk tsk.

Mariadee on August 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Going to war with Obama and his regime in office is just about the biggest handicap I can imagine.

Obama: Holder, we’ll have to do an Environmental Impact Report before every action and I want DOJ to monitor and approve everything.

God, what a mess political correctness has made of America.

mcgilvra on August 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

I hope this is not in retaliation for “Jihad John’s” beheading of James Foley. There is definitive evidence showing that FOLEY SUFFERED NO EYE SOCKET DAMAGE when his head was cut off. Therefore “:Jihad John” is cleared of all assault charges and any retributive attempt against him is racist.

MaiDee on August 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I thought we were going to see a poll of conservative columnists.

You’re headline is as poorly written as the rest of your article.

Baggi on August 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

It should be pointed out that “Go to war” in this context cannot mean expending tens of thousands of millions dollars in fuel and ordinance to take out a $2000 piece of artillery.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

FIFY

corona79 on August 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

No troops on the ground but then show a photo of a long line of C-17s, the preeminent aircraft in the world to move troops and drop Airborne.

Noah, you need to develop some current, former and/or retired military friends so you don’t put photos with comments that make you look less informed, at least to your military readers here.

It may look simple to many but it is pertinent to more than a few.

FYI “E9″ is a military pay grade, as for “RET,” you’ll figure it out.;-)

E9RET on August 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

E9RET on August 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I’ve been mentioning bombers the last couple days, you would think they might notice…

or did Noah do that on purpose?

dogsoldier on August 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I’d say it’s time to “Go Roman” in certain places in the Middle East, starting with parts of Iraq and Syria.

As we prepare to bug out of Afghanistan, my advice has always been that we should leave a note behind simply saying:

“If we ever have to come back here again, it won’t be to ‘nation build.’ Next time we won’t be bringing Civil Affairs and USAID personnel with money and free stuff, but with plows and salt.”

Really, when you think about it, the Romans had a foreign policy that would be perfectly suitable to the Middle East today:

1. “Let them hate us, so long as they fear us;” and
2. “They make a desert, and call it ‘peace.’”

As long as those are your axioms when dealing with the locals there, you’ll have their attention, and their respect. Anything less… well, we’ve already tried that, haven’t we?

Spurius Ligustinus on August 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Maybe this is another case of “The Mouse that Roared”!!

The ISIS fighters all want to be captured and taken to Gitmo where they can have 3 square meals, a soft bed, play video games or soccer all day. The liberals would love it!!

I agree with the many above — kill em all!

Let’s start with the with the ones in Gitmo — no more trades!!

KenInIL on August 22, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Let’s break this down into easily understandable pieces. If you don’t agree with everything in a numbered, STOP reading – you are unlikely to buy into the conclusion:

1) The SCOAMF administration CANNOT build a coalition of the willing. Europe has effectively no offensive capabilities. The American public is tired of sending our grounds troops to be chewed up trying to pacify Muslim countries under highly restrictive ROE’s established by politicians.

2) America cannot afford a protracted war of attrition using “pinpoint strikes”. Each pinpoint strike costs more than the value achieved by limiting targets. The appeal of “precision strikes” is the limitation of collateral damages.

3) ISIS is worse than Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The Nazis occupied whole countries. They killed millions of innocents … but they were not engaged in a “religious conversion or death” campaign to establish a theocratic state. They were not beheading soldiers taken captive on the battlefield. ISIS is NOT trying to “win hearts and minds” – ISIS is looking to establish a caliphate of subjects who can be instantly executed for ANY wavering from their religious dogma. ISIS is engaged in a zero sum crusade.

4) Within any ISIS controlled area, the native population is arguably worse off than slave labor and better equated with Nazi concentration camps. The only freedom obtainable within ISIS controlled areas is for those who wholeheartedly become active ISIS fanatics.

5) The world now faces a “human cancer” engaged in asymmetric warfare. How large the cancer is seems to vary based on political will. Last week I saw estimates of > 50,000 ISIS fanatics. That number scared the hell out of people … so the narrative has now lowered it to ~ 17,000 … but the problem is cancer grows, spreads and eventually wins.

6) America has a much greater “fighting range” for full out warfare than ISIS. It is time to use it. The areas designated by the Secretary of Defense under ISIS control will be targeted for carpet bombing, napalm strikes, CBU’s & FAE’s, and other anti-personnel weaponry. The goal is very simple – massive reduction of the effective fighting personnel with the acceptance there will be civilian dead. A little comfort may be taken in the concept many of those who are innocent are slated for death by the fanatics in any case … but the bottom line is we are trying to spare the innocents not yet subjected to ISIS’s horrors. It’s simple, brutal math – the needs of the world outweigh the needs of the those already subjugated.

7) Nation states bordering the targeted ISIS controlled areas are REQUIRED to place ground forces into the affected areas to “clean up” and provide free access for the Red Crescent. There will be close monitoring of progress because there is an additional step that will be taken if required.

8) Any ISIS controlled area that is NOT cleaned up or is allowed to return to ISIS control will be “cauterized” through the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Would this be done by an Obama administration? Of course not. This will have to wait for an ISIS attack by personnel they have sent across the OPEN Mexican border to bring the HORROR of war back to the public consciousness. Obama will be impeached when tens of thousands of Americans have died because of his reckless politics.

PolAgnostic on August 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Let’s put our money where our mouth is.

http://www.gofundme.com/SupportOfficerWilson

they lie on August 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Let’s put our money where our mouth is.

http://www.gofundme.com/SupportOfficerWilson

they lie on August 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

.
Wouldn’t this be more effective on one of the Ferguson threads?

PolAgnostic on August 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Recon5 on August 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Good post! It was absolute insanity to have pulled out of Iraq. Nothing was gained except the perception of a short lived political advantage with the lunatic base. We lost….well you know what we lost.

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Half life alone means we can’t go back in for what, 10,000 years?
No worries.

Tard on August 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM

How long do you think it will be before the Japanese can re-inhabit Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Oldnuke on August 22, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Anytime you want, you can stop calling Obama’s voters conservative.

—–

Seven months ago, when it became clear that the war in Iraq wasn’t over simply because the US declared it to be so, Obama scoffed at the idea that the revived insurgency under the new label of ISIS (or ISIL, but the same AQI organization) presented any direct threat to the United States . . .

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/08/22/hagel-isis-beyond-just-a-terrorist-group-imminent-threat/comment-page-2/#comment-8417497

Stupid sh!t like the above is what Americans are tired of. They aren’t tired of winning battles against evil. They’re tired of losing them through stupidity, fecklessness, and cowardice. And if they really are softening to the idea of going in, once again, with one hand tied behind their backs:

An American people, snake bit after a decade of war, do not welcome the prospect of reliving that experience. The public’s resistance to returning to Iraq has, however, begun to break down amid the rise of this threat to humanity.

– that’s tragic. Because it would mean they learned nothing or have already forgotten, and more men and women are going to die to half-win a battle.

——

Joint Chiefs Chair: Open Borders And Immigration Issues Make ISIS “Immediate Threat”

Resist We Much on August 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Amazing how life-threatening a cold can be when caught by someone already lying in a hospital.

Axe on August 22, 2014 at 3:16 PM

All stick and no carrot. And blunt force, civilian causalities are not our problem.

Oil Can on August 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM

This.

I’m totally f*cking through with ‘aid’ that gets used to feed terrorists, stolen and sold to buy arms, or used to bail out dumbarse bongo-pounders who have eight kids in constant famine conditions. Through.

As for ‘collateral damage’, one of the greatest motivators for peace in past centuries was the knowledge that if you honked off the big powerful empire who kept the trade lanes open and order in the streets, you would have a juggernaught of near-divine proportions bearing down on your fair city. Darn good incentive for your neighbors to watch that you didn’t bring the wrath down on their heads, too.

LawfulGood on August 24, 2014 at 4:51 AM

Half life alone means we can’t go back in for what, 10,000 years?
No worries.

Tard on August 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Irradiate everything but the oil fields and a path to ship the stuff out. Everything. Indiana Jones can go find artifacts elsewhere and there are plenty more dusty old ruins for tourists to look at.

LawfulGood on August 24, 2014 at 4:53 AM