For John, BLUF: Global Terrorism, with diverse motivations, is a serious problem. Nothing to see here; just move along.
On City Life yesterday there was a discussion of the current ISIL practice of beheading Westerners who fall into their hands.♠. Both Guest Co-Host Linda Bown and Producer John McDonough want to "do something".♥
From The Huffington Post we have this article by Mr H A Goodman,"Of the 17,891 Deaths from Terrorism Last Year, 19 Were American. Let Iraqis Fight ISIS." The author suggests that major military action might be disproportionate to the problem, at least from the US point of view.
Over 100,000 deaths are attributed to terrorism worldwide in other countries against other citizens in the past five years, while less than 60 of those deaths are American, so perhaps we're waging a war on terror to protect citizens of other countries? Terrorism and the ideology that fuels it can't be destroyed by American military interventions and shouldn't be the reason we send our soldiers to counterinsurgency conflicts (with sectarian violence and ever changing political turmoil) that hurt our nation immeasurably. We owe our soldiers and veterans better, especially since they do the fighting and there's still a VA crisis and an ongoing war in Afghanistan. President Obama's strategy against ISIS is as short-sighted as Bush's was in getting us into Iraq in the first place.The writer gives us a cost/benefit analysis. Is it worth putting at risk tens of thousands of US Military personnel for what is a numerically small number of people? Ms Linda Bown would have us commit US forces. The problem with that approach is that it will result in American casualties, and also in the death and injury to a lot of non-ISIL people on the ground in the Middle East, resulting in a active recruiting for ISIL by US actions.
This is not an easy problem. We have gone to war over this kind of thing in the past, and it has not been a free ride.
Regards — Cliff
♠ And are not ransomed, as some European nations engage in.
♥ I am not a Special Operator, but my sense of Special Operations actions is that they are well planned and well rehearsed and thus can not be conducted off the cuff.