16 Jul '16     home | previous

Where Are We in the War against ISIS?

After the attack in Nice,France, on July 14, killing 84, people were wonder where we are in the war on what is being called the Islamic State. On Fox News, Bill O'Reilly asked Donald Trump whether he would move to declare war on the Islamic State, and answered:

"I would. "This is war. If you look at it, this is war.

The historian Max Boot, tweeted:

And who would we declare war against? ISIS? Would mean recognizing it as a state, no?

Some have been under the impression that the Obama administration has been at war with the Islamic State – although some are not calling it that because they claim it is not really Islamic and calling it that is an insult to Muslims in general. What Trump seems to be proposing is a more intense war. The US Congress hasn't declared war since we entered World War II – a war in which civilians accepted deprivations, unlike Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.

Newt Gingrich responded to the killings in with a call for government to test all Muslims in the US to see if they believe in Sharia Law and to deport those who do. So reports BBC News. This has been described as a way to intensify the war. A Muslim on television complains that Gingrich doesn't have a good understanding of what Sharia Law is. RawStory headlines:

Even conservatives are trashing New Gingrich for his crazy plan to interrogate every American Muslin

Analysis on BBC News describes the attack in Nice as a response "to the significant losses being experienced by IS to the shrinking territory it controls in Syria and Iraq." It continues: "US-led airstrikes, including by French warplanes, are taking a particularly heavy toll there. At home, France has become the number one target of opportunity for IS and its supporters, unperturbed by the national state of emergency that has just been extended."

US officials are being described as "increasingly cautious" as the IS loses more territory. Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey told the House Homeland Security Committee that IS will remain a dynamic and formidable threat for some time to come. He said:.

Those thousands of fighters are going to go someplace. Our job is to spot them and stop them before they come to the United States to harm innocent people.

What would Trump expect from a Declaration of War? Or was it just an effort to look tough to people swayed by tough talk and not interested in specifics?

CNN's Fareed Zakaria says describes Obama's policy as "intervention-lite," arrived at through "trial and error." He describes that policy as active engagement "in efforts to defeat terrorist groups, deny them territory and work with local allies to keep militants on the run. But these policies mostly involve small numbers of Special Operations forces and trainers, air power and drones."

Some want us to do less. They complain about imperialism, that we have already killed around 100,000 Muslims in the Middle East, since 9/11.

Some are looking forward to terrorist supporters of the IS caliphate burning themselves out with their self sacrifices. They see hope for a caliphate as destined to significantly diminish.

Also in the news, retweeted @fsmitha, from National Public Radio, a story some call "hug a terrorist," about how a Danish town helped young Muslims turn away from ISIS.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.