7:42 AM, Sep 20, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Although President Obama has been unequivocal that US forces will not return to Iraq for "boots on the ground" combat, some in his administration (Gen. Martin Dempsey, John Kerry, Joe Biden) have dropped hints that future events may change that. Friday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno joined the chorus, telling the Defense Writers Group, according to the Army News Service (ANS), that "all options are open. 'I never rule anything out,' he added."
Odierno also said that while air strikes have proved effective in the short term in slowing ISIL's gains, concern about civilians casualties will blunt their effectiveness down the road. He added that the military will be carefully "vetting" the anti-ISIL forces that are due to receive training and support, including weapons, to make sure "they are who they [say they] are and won't be part of some extremist group."
For the present, however, the ground forces will come from local nations, according to the ANS report:
"Airstrikes have slowed the advances of ISIL. But airstrikes alone won't defeat ISIL," Odierno cautioned. "You need a complementary ground capability that will go in and do that."
These boots on the ground will be moderates in Syria and Iraq, as well as troops from other Arab nations who would like to assist, he said, adding that the U.S. will train, equip and advise them as needed.
"We all agree with the current strategy we're executing," he said, referring to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president. "We've got to give this time to work. It's important they're the ones who will defeat ISIL."
Odierno added that as is the case in any operation, assessments will continue to be made as events unfold, and that with input from his commanders, he will continue to provide the chairman and the president with candid advice.
All options are open, he said. "I never rule anything out," he added.
Hosted by Michael Graham.10:35 AM, Sep 19, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on ISIS, the White House's response, and Democrats and the 2014 elections.
8:47 AM, Sep 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
For what it is worth (and you’ll have to be the judge of that) most “security insiders” are skeptical when it comes to the president’s strategy for the fight with ISIS.
Edmund Burke’s war on terror—and ours.Sep 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 03 • By GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB
The war on terror is over, the president assured us a year ago. Now, we are told, that war is very much with us and will be pursued with all due diligence. The president was obviously responding to the polls reflecting the disapproval of the public, but also to critics in his own party. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sadly commented on his admission that he had “no strategy yet”: “I think I’ve learned one thing about this president, and that is: He’s very cautious—maybe in this instance too cautious.”
He’s playing the game.Sep 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 03 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
On the evening of September 11, Rand Paul sipped red wine out of a clear plastic cup as he wended his way through a bar full of 200 or so millennials. After snapping photos with admirers who had gathered to hear Paul speak and partake of free food and drink provided by Generation Opportunity, a libertarian-leaning nonprofit, the Kentucky senator took the stage.
7:54 PM, Sep 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama announced this evening that France will join in bombing ISIS (also known as ISIL) in Iraq.
3:22 PM, Sep 18, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama addressed troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Wednesday regarding his strategy to "degrade and destroy ISIL," but also reminded the audience about his plans for the U.S. military in Afghanistan [emphasis added]:
2:52 PM, Sep 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, Kenneth Palinkas, says in a press release the immigration system may be exploitable by the terrorist army ISIS.
6:17 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a debate on CNN this afternoon between Jay Carney and Bill Kristol, the former White House spokesman conceded that in fact there will be "boots on the ground" fighting the Islamic State.
11:07 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A New York man was indicted last night for helping ISIS, the terrorist army President Obama has pledged to "degrade" and "destroy."
ISIS Strategy Unrealistic.7:29 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Gates, President Obama's first defense secretary, said this morning on CBS that President Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State is unrealistic:
"The reality is, they're not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own," said Gates.
7:05 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
In testimony yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted that the most that could be done by way of creating an effective Free Syrian Army – that is, the forces of the moderate opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad – was to train a force of 5,000 over the next year.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:10 PM, Sep 16, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on why President Obama will have to put boots on the ground to defeat ISIS.