Thursday, January 14, 2016

How Can The Threat Be Ended?

Russia has made some marginal gains, at a huge expense in Syria. With the might of Russian bombs the forces of Assad have made inroads into areas around Allepo, but nothing that would offer much hope for the regime. And Putin has been quoted as saying "we are far from using everything we are capable of."

American airstrikes in Iran and Syria continue to kill suspected terrorists. And they have, it seems, no plan to slow the sorties. "If you are part of ISIL we will kill you." that is their mission statement right now.

Millions of dollars worth of bombs are being dropped. Buildings and people are exploding at an alarming rate. Death has come to the Middle East, and he is flying a billion dollar, multi purpose fighter/bomber.

But, repeated estimates of "enemy combatants" hover around 30,000 insurgent fighters. Despite the
fact that American estimates are between 23,000 and 25,000 ISIL members killed. Russian and Syrian estimates of casualties are similar. And that number is supposedly adjusted to exclude the civilian casualties.

Even if one assumes that the estimates of combatants killed are overestimated ISIS is replenishing ranks with alarming efficiency. And sooner or later enough lives will be lost and money spent that the super powers will take their expensive equipment and go home. What then?

One thing neither of the great powers is talking about, and it seems like it should have been the first step, is "what should we do to keep a person who is neutral from joining the ranks of ISIL?"  They didn't ask before entering the fray, and they haven't asked since.

How can this river of willing soldiers be stopped? What steps need to be taken to end the enlistment?

It is a stretch to say America or Russia can understand the workings of the Middle Eastern mind, but if they ever want to leave with dignity and hope of security they had better find out.