President Obama’s Strategy for Taking On ISIS Could Take Years to Complete
President Obama plans to address the nation on Wednesday to outline the administration’s plan to deal with the threat of ISIS. However, the country was offered a preview of this strategy on the first edition of Meet The Press hosted by Chuck Todd, during an interview with the president.
The New York Times has followed up with a report that outlines the plan to defeat ISIS, one which may take years to complete. During the interview, President Obama stressed that this would not simply be a U.S. mission, saying that after conferring with NATO allies there is a “broad-based coalition” of countries who realize the threat ISIS poses to the world.
The first leg of the mission has already started with the U.S. carrying out “nearly 145 airstrikes in the past month” with many more to follow. These airstrikes are meant to give Iraqi forces on the ground a chance to gain control of the territory they’ve lost to the terror group.
The second part of the strategy depends on Iraq being able to form “a more inclusive government” which gives moderate Sunni Muslims the sense that they are being included in the process. Once this is done, the U.S. will “train, advise, or equip” the local military, Kurdish fighters – which have had success at turning back ISIS forces – and members of moderate Sunni tribes to combat the terror group.
The last phase will be the toughest and is the part of the strategy that could take years, which is attacking the group’s sanctuary in the war-torn country of Syria. Unlike with Iraq, the Obama Administration seems the current government lead by Bashar al-Assad as an enemy as well. The president told Todd that the U.S. needs to find moderate partners in the region, such as the Free Syria Army, in order to achieve the goal of crippling ISIS.