The President calls for more U.S. special forces into Syria. Last week, more troops and gunships into Iraq. What is this push and its strategy for ISIS?
More American forces are headed out in the fight against the Islamic State. Last week, 200 more plus Apache helicopter gunships to Iraq to help retake Mosul. This week, yesterday, President Obama announced 250 more Special Operations forces headed into Syria to help take on ISIS. We know how these things can go. So, where exactly are the troops going? To do what? With what strategy? What endgame? This hour On Point: more U.S. troops in the fight against ISIS.
Stephen Biddle, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
From Tom's Reading List
U.S. to Send 250 Additional Military Personnel to Syria — "The U.S. plans to send up to 250 additional military personnel to Syria to help local forces fighting Islamic State, significantly expanding the small American footprint in the war-ravaged country, according to U.S. officials. President Barack Obama recently signed off on the new deployment, which he is expected to announce Monday. The move will increase the total number of American military personnel operating on the ground inside Syria from 50 to about 300, the U.S. officials said." (Wall Street Journal)
America Can’t Do Much About ISIS — "Civil wars of the kind in which the U.S. conflict with the Islamic State is embedded are notoriously hard to terminate and typically drag on for years. Datasets vary slightly, but most put the median duration of such conflicts at seven to 10 years; and an important minority drag on for a generation or more. When they do end, it’s rarely because an empowered, victorious army marches into the enemy capital, pulls down the flag, and governs a newly stable society. (The Atlantic)
This is the Pentagon's new strategy to defeat ISIS — "The new plan calls for fighting the terror group like a conventional enemy, relying on traditional military tactics such as maneuver-style warfare and attrition. This has replaced last year’s approach, dubbed the “Iraq First Strategy," which was widely criticized as ineffective, especially after ISIS fighters seized the city of Ramadi in May. Instead, the U.S. and its allies now intend to confront the extremist group and its force of about 30,000 fighters, targeting their strongholds and resources across Iraq and Syria simultaneously." (Military Times)
This program aired on April 26, 2016.