Tags: Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | military | campaign

Iraq Veteran: More 'Effective' US Action Against ISIS Coming

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 10:23 PM

The upcoming midterm elections have temporarily postponed a more concerted U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), but an escalation is needed and is likely in store, says a counterinsurgency expert.

"I personally believe we will see much more dramatic action, much more effective action, in about two weeks after the midterm elections," retired Army Lt. Col. John Nagl told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Friday. "I think there's a political constraint right now."

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Whether an easing of that constraint would lead to U.S. troops fighting ISIS in Iraq or Syria remains to be seen. Nagl, a veteran of two Middle East wars and author of "Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice," said ISIS can't be beaten by airstrikes alone.

"Unfortunately, we have not yet begun the fight," he said.

Nagl, who has written two books on counterinsurgency based on his combat experiences, and now serves as a private school headmaster, said he is frustrated that the U.S. is even having this fight.

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But he said that President Barack Obama "ignored military advice" to keep a residual force in Iraq after 2011 and to arm moderate Syrian rebels in 2012 against the dictator Bashar al Assad — two calls that allowed an even more virulent strain of radicalism than what al Qaida represented to "regenerate" in the form of ISIS.

Nagl hopes that U.S. reversals in Iraq since 2011 will cause Obama to re-think his exit plans for Afghanistan.

"I'm deeply concerned right now that they currently plan to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan at the end of 2016," said Nagl. "If that happens, we'll have Taliban besieging Kabul just as we currently have ISIS besieging Baghdad."

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The upcoming midterm elections have temporarily postponed a more concerted U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), but an escalation is needed and is likely in store, says a counterinsurgency expert.
military, campaign
421
2014-23-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 10:23 PM
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