The Obama ISIS Containment Non-Strategy For Non-Victory

No one in the American government seems certain as to what our goal in the Middle-East is, including the President. If our military forces don’t know what the nation’s goal is they can’t succeed in accomplishing it, in crafting the necessary military plans to implement it, in building up the necessary provisioning to support their actions, and in enlisting the assistance of our allies in helping support our efforts to defeat the enemy. To put it bluntly, if you don’t know what the goal is you can’t meet it nor can you know whether you’re winning or losing. As President Bush, the younger, is believed to have once said, “If we’re not there to win, why are we there?”

ISIS T-55 MBT (Photo by

ISIS T-55 MBT (Photo by

During one of my Vietnam War tours I spent a year as an advisor to the South Vietnamese military, local Vietnamese villagers and to tribal governments. This included helping the South Vietnamese military in training the nation’s young men in how to fight the North Vietnamese who from time to time infiltrated south into the Second Corps area from up north of the Demilitarized Zone. It was much like today’s situation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. But fortunately the Vietnamese did not comingle the religious with the political as Muslims do.

The goal was not to train the South Vietnamese military to be as good in combat as US Forces, but for them to be good enough to defeat the North Vietnamese, good enough to win a battle against them. It is important to recognize that combat is training; in fact, it is the best on-the-job training available for the making of a soldier. If a new recruit from one of the local villages joined a South Vietnamese Army unit and six weeks later was still alive, in the long run he turned out to be a fairly good soldier. The Patriots who fought at Lexington and Concord at the beginning of our Revolutionary War didn’t have the luxury of a year’s military training to get them ready for battle.

Is America’s goal in the Middle-East to defeat the Islamic State and the hodge-podge of terrorists and irregular forces cooperating with them, or is it just to contain them? If our forces are simply fighting for containment the death of every American soldier killed there dies in vain. It is meaningless, and our government leaders don’t seem to care.

If they do care, why doesn’t the Congressional leadership, both Democrat and Republican, take immediate action to force the President to assign a goal of winning to our military plans and actions in the Middle-East or to bring about an abrupt halt to the current carnage that is going on over there? An appeal to the President would be pointless because he has made it clear that he has little interest in winning this fight with the Islamic State, he only wants it contained.

Source: By Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Curry, US Army, Ret. (Guns and Gear Contributor

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