How to Recognize a Real Strategy to Defeat ISIS

How to Recognize a Real Strategy to Defeat ISIS
U.S. President Barack Obama at a news conference at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, Dec. 1, 2015 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

Critics no longer stop at questioning or attacking the Obama administration’s strategy in dealing with the so-called Islamic State. As Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, bluntly claimed last month, “We don’t have a strategy.” Even Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Tim Kane have joined in, saying, “I don’t think the administration has done a good job of laying out a clear strategy.”

Yet President Barack Obama insists that his administration has an effective strategy based on four components: airstrikes against Islamic State targets; support to Iraqi security forces and Iraqi militias fighting the group; improved counterterrorism operations; and humanitarian relief to civilians who have fled the conflict in eastern Syria and western Iraq.

The truth is, this may be the outline of a strategy, but it is not a comprehensive one.

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