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The U.S. Must Send Ground Forces to Eliminate the Islamic State

James F. Jeffrey

Also available in العربية

Washington Post

November 16, 2015


A traditional military operation is eluding serious attention for many reasons, but none hold up against the devastation experienced in Syria and Iraq.

The horrific Paris attacks, following a likely Islamic State bombing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai and coming in the midst of the crises emanating from the linked conflicts in Iraq and Syria, demand an answer to this question: When will the United States realize that it urgently needs to use real military force to defeat the Islamic State threat?

After almost eighteen months of the Obama administration's half-measures, it’s obvious that defeat of the Islamic State is not going to happen absent a first-class, mobile ground force being launched to mate with overwhelming air power. That ground force does not have to be large -- the main U.S. assault force in the largest battle of the second Iraq war, Fallujah in 2004, counted only seven to eight battalions, with reinforcement and support, for a total of 7,000 to 8,000 troops...

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