In this post James Atticus Bowden has a specific strategy in mind. He calls it a “Punitive Expedition.” These days we don’t often speak of punishing an enemy, but we have done so quite successfully. Remember when President Ronald Reagan ordered bombs away over Libya (then run by the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi). Gaddafi survived, but after that he behaved himself. That was a “Punitive Expedition.”
To take out ISIS in Iraq, Bowden has something a little more ambitious in mind than what we did in Libya. Nevertheless, he proposes a military operation with limited objectives, not a nation building exercise.
How did we fail in Iraq and Afghanistan? Instead of just taking out Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, we assumed an obligation to build both nations into democratic states. At the time, we did not realize that fulfilling these obligations would take decades. When we did, we cut and run. Then we looked back, and realized that we had no choice except to fight.
So now what do we do? How do we fight? Why don’t we try punishing our enemies and supporting our friends as needed? Instead of taking over countries and trying build them up into modern democracies, why don’t we settle for conducting a “Punitive Expedition” every now and then?
The US and NATO could fight ISIS and win. ISIS is the Muslim group setting up an Islamic Caliphate across their conquered territory in Iraq and Syria. They are committing horrific crimes against humanity – specifically inflecting atrocities against Christians. Including beheading children. The Islamist barbarians behead Christian children. America and the West should hunt down and kill all of these barbarians.
But, President Barry Soetero, the ruling Democrats and chattering class are terrified about putting the Army – boots on the ground – back in Iraq. They worry about having a third Iraq War. Except, the US doesn’t have to have another war, just a very effective campaign. Conduct a “Punitive Expedition.”
The US could drop in the 82nd Airborne, motor up the Mechanized brigade sitting in Kuwait, and flow in the 6 brigades or so needed to defeat…
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