According to a Saturday piece in the Washington Examiner, President Obama has suggested that the bombing of the ISIS fighters will continue for quite some time. However it will also be limited strikes against terrorists besieging Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar and those threatening American military advisors in the nearby town of Erbil, the Kurdish capital. But the move has set up a debate that crosses party lines over what to do next.
On the one side are people like Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida who are of the mind that a few air strikes will not be enough to stop ISIS. The implication is that it is going to take boots on the ground to deal with the terrorist army. Whose boots is an open question, though some have suggested giving Kurdish forces, currently the only organized army with the will to fight. No one is openly suggesting putting American troops on the ground – yet.
On the other side are liberals who are afraid of “mission creep.” No one has uttered the word “Vietnam,” that curse word used to forestall many a military intervention until the first Gulf War ended in such a famous victory. The Iraq war has left a bad taste in many peoples’ mouths, though to be fair it can be pointed out that it was well won by the time President Bush left office. It can be further argued that Obama lost the peace by not bothering with a status of forces agreement with the results that are now unfolding,
There is an argument to be made for sending an American led expeditionary force to put ISIS in the grave. ISIS has the two remarkable qualities of limitless evil and limitless ambition. This is a group that chops the heads off of small children and sells women and girls into sexual slavery. They have vowed to not stop until they have raised their flag over the White House. The Middle East has not seen the like since Tamburlaine. Thus if any military intervention can be justified on both humanitarian and national security grounds, it would be one to exterminate ISIS.