ISIS/ISIL and “War”

I’ve been listening to the discussion/debate about what we should do about ISIS/ISIL, in both Iraq and in Syria.

I’m of the opinion we shouldn’t do much of anything, at least from a military standpoint.

There is no doubt these people are bad.  They do not share our values, and in fact they are probably the worst of religious bigots.  Murdering those that do not share their faith is not honorable.  I think most of the Christian based faiths have largely got far away from similar activities long ago.

But if this group is operating in Iraq, why should we care?  These bad people have killed Americans, in horrible and emotion-pushing ways.  They have killed captured prisoner soldiers.  Those are clearly illegal acts.  But they are not operating in the United States (in spite of some hysterical Republicans claiming otherwise).

But is it justification for war?  For sending hundreds or thousands of our soldiers over to the middle east, again, to fight in Muslim countries.

I don’t think so.  The worldwide reputation of the United States took a massive hit due to the lies that got us into Iraq, and the directionless action in Afghanistan cost us thousands of American lives and billions altogether.  President Obama did the right thing to get us out of that gigantic Bush/Cheney mess.

So what about ISIS/ISIL?  We’ve shown that we can help drive them away from large targets in open areas by bombing the hell out of them.  And if that’s done via drone or manned aircraft, that’s fairly low risk (although getting an F-18 down by SAM or a mechanical failure of the aircraft would be a major blow to us).

Regardless of the huge amount of money we spent uselessly in Iraq, we are out of there now, except for our Embassy and some advisers.  A major argument is that the country of Iraq should take care of itself.  If they can’t, tough.  We can’t look at Iraq as some investment where we expect to get our money back; we might as well think of that almost $2T as piled on the ground and burned to ashes.

So if Iraq can’t take care of itself?  They have had years to get their Army built up, and they supposedly have around 300,000 soldiers.  A CIA estimate a couple days ago indicated around 32,000 ISIS/ISIL fighters, across both Iraq and Syria.  So why can’t the Iraqi Army fight and win in their own country?  They’ve a 10-to-1 positive correlation, and surely they have more tanks and stuff.

So let them fight for themselves.

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