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We’re Back In The Iraq Business, Part III

Most of your questions, perspectives and push-backs on last week’s note were concentrated around three of my assertions:

  • Do not send more arms to our allies in the region.
  • We will not eradicate ISIS.
  • We will not be able to build an alliance of any consequence.

Let me add some more context to my case for each assertion.

  • Send more arms into the region. No. They end up in the wrong hands. Anyway, there are already plenty of arms and ammunition already in the region. All of the parties to the conflicts have done just fine in the arms and ammunition department, haven’t they. I would pay huge bounties for arms and ammunition turned into appropriate honest brokers and destroyed.
  • We must eradicate ISIS. That’s never going to happen. We can confound, confuse, degrade, peel off weaklings…..but we will have no more luck ridding the world of ISIS than we have or will with Al Qaeda. We can covertly make them wonder where the next attack will come from. We can use information operations to hamper recruiting. Remember the smart power theory, which has a soft power element…..permanent, large-scale community services operations designed to be one element of removing some of the causes of unrest and conflict….and a law enforcement, gang conflict component in our strategy, both over there and here in the US. These types of threats are generational problems that will be with us for decades.
  • The US will form a global alliance to combat these threats. No, we won’t be able to form a truly effective alliance with proportional involvement from a critical mass of nations. They know the US will go ahead, regardless, and take action that will escalate the threat. So, why should they get “personally involved” in the unpopular and expensive escalations that only serve to put their countries at greater risk of reprisals.

Let’s see what we learn at 9PM tonight.

I am eager to hear from all of you with your views and cases. Send me a note at, and I’ll share your perspectives with our readers.



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