The Other McCain

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How Does Hillary Plan to Defeat ISIS Without Using U.S. Combat Troops?

Posted on | September 8, 2016 | 3 Comments


During a “Commander-in-Chief” forum Wednesday with Matt Lauer, Hillary Clinton claimed U.S. troops won’t be needed to defeat ISIS:

“We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again and we are not putting ground troops into Syria,” the Democratic presidential nominee, who has consistently said she does not want to put ground troops into Iraq, said during a forum on national security on NBC News.
“We’re going to defeat ISIS without committing American ground troops.”
Clinton’s remark came in response to a question from an Army veteran who asked the former secretary of state how she would determine when and where to deploy troops overseas, particularly when it comes to fighting ISIS.
“We have to defeat ISIS,” Clinton said. “That is my highest counterterrorism goal. And we’ve got to do it with air power, we’ve got to do it with much more support for the Arabs and the Kurds who will fight on the ground against ISIS.
“We have to squeeze them by continuing to support the Iraqi military. They’ve taken back Ramadi, Fallujah, they’ve got to hold them. They’ve got to now get into Mosul. We’re going to work to make sure that they have the support, they have special forces, as you know, they have enablers, they have surveillance intelligence, reconnaissance help.”

There are currently about 300 U.S. Special Forces in Syria, and about 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, so let’s not pretend that we don’t already have Americans in harm’s way, OK? The way Hillary just casually mentions “support,” “surveillance,” etc., ignores this reality. Likewise, her vague assurance that “the Arabs and the Kurds” and “the Iraqi military” will suffice to defeat ISIS raises the question, “Why haven’t they already defeated them?” It’s been nearly three years since ISIS established its Islamic “caliphate” in northern Syria, and they’re still there. While ISIS has suffered recent defeats in Iraq, they maintain their stronghold in Raqqa and — contrary to Hillary’s assertion — President Obama and Turkey’s President Erdogan recently discussed the possibility of a joint U.S.-Turkey operation to destroy ISIS in Raqqa.

Well, it depends on what your definition of “ground troops” is, perhaps. Hillary probably means to say we won’t be committing entire Army corps or Marine divisions against ISIS, but we definitely have troops on the ground — in May, some of our Special Forces were spotted with Kurdish forces within 18 miles of Raqqa. Honestly, if Obama would commit a battalion of Army Rangers to the fight, I’d bet they could capture Raqqa in a matter of weeks, if not days. I’m sure Col. Evans and his boys would enjoy a nice “live-fire” exercise, wiping out ISIS in one quick operation.

Excuse my nitpicky criticism of Hillary’s no-ground-troops talk, but as the father of a soldier, I resent the implication that U.S. Special Forces — the finest soldiers on the planet — are not “ground troops.”

Meanwhile, as a matter of mere politics, Donald Trump totally won Wednesday’s forum, and Hillary looked like an idiot, as usual.



3 Responses to “How Does Hillary Plan to Defeat ISIS Without Using U.S. Combat Troops?”

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