From a news report on today's
As President Obama was weighing how to halt Islamic State advances in Iraq, some of the strongest resistance to boosting U.S. involvement came from a surprising place: a war-weary military that has grown increasingly skeptical that force can prevail in a conflict fueled by political and religious grievances.
Top military officials, who have typically argued for more combat power to overcome battlefield setbacks over the past decade, emerged in recent White House debates as consistent voices of caution in Iraq. Their shift reflects the paucity of good options and a reluctance to suffer more combat deaths in a war in which America’s political leaders are far from committed and Iraqis have shown limited will to fight.
“After the past 12 years in the Middle East, there is a real focus by senior military leaders on understanding what the endgame is,” said a military official, “and asking the question, ‘To what end are we doing this?’ ” (our emphasis)From the lead editorial in today's
Mr. Obama’s escalation nevertheless is most notable for excluding the steps that American and Iraqi commanders and military experts have been saying for a year are necessary to decisively reverse the Islamic State’s momentum. These include the deployment of U.S. advisers to front-line Iraqi units, along with spotters who can call in airstrikes, and an increase of close-in air support.
Such tactics worked during the U.S. “surge” in Iraq, and they allowed Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance to overthrow the Taliban government in 2001-2002. That they are not being used now, despite the Islamic State’s recent gains, seems to be explained only by Mr. Obama’s political resistance to reversing his decision to withdraw U.S. forces four years ago. (our emphasis)Perhaps it's too much to expect the neo-conservatives on the
No, it seems the neo-cons of the editorial board are determined to have the United States make the same mistakes they foolishly counseled back in 2003. Fortunately, no one is listening to them.
(Image: Fightin' 101st Keyboarder Jackson Diehl -- or is that "J. Fred Muggs" Hiatt?)