Staff General Martin Dempsey said during a press conference at the Pentagon late last week that ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, needs to be dealt with properly in order to eradicate the threat it poses in the middle east and America.
Dempsey, who is the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the briefing about ISIS: “This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end-of-days strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated.”
The General noted that destroying ISIS would require: “The application of all of the tools of [U.S.] national power — diplomatic, economic, information, military.” According to others in the military, as well as intelligence experts, Dempsey is not wrong.
He also confirmed that in his opinion ISIS could only be defeated properly if the U.S. carried out a ground invasion in Syria: “Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no,” said Dempsey.
An expert on Islamist groups at the Brookings Institution, Shadi Hamid, also concurred with Gen. Dempsey’s position: “The notion that the Iraq war can be separated from the Syrian civil war is pure fantasy. This is what’s so worrying about the Obama administration’s approach. There is no plan. There is no vision on that front. There is no effort to talk about Syria in a different way.”
Bassam Barabandi, who served as a diplomat for several decades in the Syrian Foreign Ministry, also agreed: “Now that ISIS has fully matured, the Assad regime and Iran offer themselves as partners to the United States. For the first time, Assad is striking ISIS in Raqqa and locations inside Iraq, in a perverse harvest of the terrorist seeds he planted to quash the civilian-led reform movement.”
Mike Doran, senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy, told Business Insider: “To counter ISIS, the United States must relearn the lessons of the surge [during the Iraq war]. The key is to detach moderate Sunnis, the vast majority of Sunnis, from ISIS, by providing them with security and with a political alternative to rule by Iran and its proxies.”
It remains to be seen whether or not President Obama will have the wisdom to listen to his generals in the Pentagon before ISIS threats become the norm on mainland America.