The Case for a Punitive Expedition Against the Islamic State

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft flies over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, Sept. 23, 2014 (DoD photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, U.S. Air Force).
A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft flies over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, Sept. 23, 2014 (DoD photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, U.S. Air Force).
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From the moment the United States took on the so-called Islamic State (IS), whether or not to use ground forces has been one of the most contentious issues. Deeply aware of the lingering national hangover from Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. President Barack Obama stated that American ground forces “will not have a combat mission,” and will only assist the local forces fighting the extremists. While this makes political sense, it may not be effective strategy. Airstrikes by the U.S. and other nations have put a damper on the mobility of IS, but cannot defeat it outright. In fact, the organization […]

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