ISIS

Get Used to the War Against ISIS, Says Obama. It's a 'Long-Term Campaign'

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President and his new friends
White House

When it comes to gifts that keep on giving, we all probably could have done without yet another extended war in the Middle East. But that's what we seem to have as President Obama emerged from a meeting with military officials from countries that have joined the coalition aganst ISIS to announce, "this is going to be a long-term campaign. There are not quick fixes involved.  We're still at the early stages.  As with any military effort, there will be days of progress and there are going to be periods of setback."

Oh goody. I'd hate to think my son would reach enlistment age too late to participate in the fun.

How committed that coalition is to an open ended effort to battling ISIS and "communicating an alternative vision for those who are currently attracted to the fighting inside Iraq and Syria" is an open question. Turkey's rapid repudiation of White House insistence that the country had agreed to coalition use of its military bases may be only the tip of the iceberg. Foreign Policy's Gopal Ratnam and John Hudson describe it as a "kiss and tell problem." Like a high school nerd desperate for a girlfriend, the Obama administration is so eager to interpret the slightest kindness as a total commitment that it immediately trumpets its new relationship to the world—and scares its new friend away. Write Ratnam and Hudson:

The conflicting versions of events from the two allies have one of two causes. One is political: The White House is eager to show a war-weary American public that the United States won't be fighting alone, but many Middle Eastern countries don't want to rile up their own populations by advertising their roles in the coalition. The other is a more basic and troubling one: that Washington may be consistently misreading its partners and overestimating just how committed they are to the fight.

The governments of Georgia and Slovenia also backpedaled from U.S. announcements of deeper relationships than either country was willing to acknowledge in world-wide press releases.

Now that the Obama administration is insisting on a long-term commitment instead of a military quicky, the problem can only get worse.

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  1. It’s different when a Democrat does it.

    1. It is different when there is no 200,000 US troop ground invasion.

      1. Give it time.

      2. It is different when there is no 200,000 US troop ground invasion.

        So, you would’ve supported bombing Iraq for ten years or so as long as there were no ground troops?

        1. IT’S NOT SENTIENT!!!!!

          By interacting with it, you are doing the Internet equivalent of trying to get rid of cockroaches by putting out plates of sugar.

        2. I would have had no big issue with a quick Special Ops kill of Saddam in 2003.

          IOW, an Obama style low kinetic kill.

          1. Bush was in office in 2003 so…bullshit.

          2. As if such a quick kill was even possible in 2003.

            They were chasing him around Baghdad with 1,000 bombs during the pre-invasion warmup, and couldn’t kill him even when they were leveling city blocks at a time to do so.

            The notion that we could have in- and exfiltrated an assassination team that could have shot him is beyond ludicrous.

            IOW, classic Weigel.

            1. Should be 1,000-pound bombs.

              1. 2,000 pounders, actually. Interview with one of the guys on the B-1 that did one of the more notable strikes.

                Four Mk. 84s will really fuck up a neighborhood.

                1. Fred Swan (Dark Duck) is a few few sandwiches short of a picnic.

                  The four crewmembers got DFCs for the mission before they even knew they missed him.

                  1. Wow, I had no idea. I just remember reading about the strike and thinking at the time, “Damn, they must have really wanted his ass dead to have a B-1 level a city block or two.” Dark Duck was his call sign? I didn’t know that WSOs on large bombers had call signs.

                    Not much they can do if the targeting intel is wrong. I forget, how does a DFC compare to, say a Silver Star with V device or Navy Cross?

                    1. Dark Duck was my Ops Officer for a while. He’d be perfectly normal one second and out of his mind with rage the next. Yes, his call sign. He was just “Duck” for years until he started having his little eruptions.

                      He was there, but left before the bombs hit.

                      Medals

                      I knew the pilot too. His name was Chris Wachter, Call sign Tourettes (need I say more?).

                      He was a piece of work too. Not a bad guy, just a little off.

                      Everyone thought the medal thing was cheesey. They just happened to be flying that day. Nothing extraordinary about it except who they thought they were dropping on.

            2. Shorter Buttplug: The military is magic! It doesn’t need things like basic logistics, infrastructure, or even intelligence to accurately kill specific people, it just needs a Democrat in power to do the impossible!

        3. Missiles fired from fighter jets and warships…that’s not war war.

        4. It’s different when a Democrat does it.

        5. Didn’t we already do that?

      3. Well, at least that would imply some seriousness. Right now, we can’t even get Turkey to care about this, and Iran is barely interested. Do they know something about ISIS that we don’t, like how they are bunch of chumps who conquered a few towns in Syria that lacked serious defense and mostly control a bunch of worthless desert? Who cares who runs Ramadi, anyway?

      4. It is different when there is no 200,000 US troop ground invasion.

        And apparently totally cool if innocent brown people halfway across the world are maimed and killed in the name of a vague threat. I mean, they’re just collateral damage right?

  2. Who doesn’t want a “deeper” relationship with Slovenia?

  3. Well, we haven’t had a good Hundred Years War in quite awhile. So I guess we’re due.

  4. Sooo, Obama is following the JFK/LBJ model of blundering into long term wars with ill-defined objectives against a very motivated and ideologically coherent enemy.

    I warned my mom that is she voted for McCain that the U.S. would become mired in pointless wars that would bankrupt it. She ignored me, and proved me right!

    1. Obama is following the JFK/LBJ/Bush model…

      FIFY

    2. +1 vote for Goldwater

    3. JFK just sent some advisors to Vietnam. It was a prudent move. LBJ owns that mess.

  5. Oh goody. I’d hate to think my son would reach enlistment age too late to participate in the fun.

    I’m confident that your son’s son’s son will have the opportunity to fight existential threats to American security in the form of some guys in the Middle East with guns leftover from the previous war.

    Defense contractors gotta eat too, you know.

  6. You know who else started a Long-Term Campaign?

    1. Ulysses?

  7. Boots on the ground,
    Ain’t no surprise.
    Pour me a drink,
    And I’ll tell you some lies
    Got nothing to lose,
    So you just sing the blues,
    All the time.

  8. And it’s one, two, three,
    What are we fighting for ?
    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
    Gotta git that ol’ Imam;
    And it’s five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
    Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.

  9. Get Used to the War Against ISIS, Says Obama. It’s a ‘Long-Term Campaign’

    Because we can’t’ not be at war if there is one bad guy left alive.

    Imma invest in Boeing.

  10. Maybe Obama’s objective with this is to tank Hillary’s chances in 2016? Being involved in an unpopular war with no exit strategy is arguably the single most effective way for an incumbent party to lose the White House in modern times (see, e.g., 1952, 1968, and 2008).

    1. Blowback’s Payback’s a bitch!

    2. Actually Bush was reelected in 2004 so BOOM to that theory.

      1. True, but the war wasn’t as old as the other examples.

      2. You might want to look at the actual polling on that. According to Gallup, anti-Iraq War sentiment doesn’t consistently break 50% until the last quarter of 2006: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1633/iraq.aspx

  11. “this is going to be a long-term campaign…”

    “No sir, we didn’t ask you about your political career. What about Isis?”

  12. A long-term War on Isis?

    We can safely predict this will turn out exactly like all our other long-term wars on things.

  13. This wouldn’t be a long-term campaign if the US airforce weren’t dropping bombs like a homeopath ‘doctor’ administers medicine.

  14. Please, won’t somebody think of the defense contractors?

  15. *war-weary American public*

    Yeah, I’m totally sick of the black-outs, the rationing, running down to the cellar everytime ISIS’ heavy bombers make their nightly runs over my city with incendiaries, the lack of goods at the stores due to the blockade, having to eat my family pets out of hunger, stepping over the mountain of gaunt corpses piled outside my door every morning.

    Yawn.

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