How the radical, transnational terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) came to be could fill a series of very thick, very unread books. It’s enough to know that portions of it began as al-Qaeda in Iraq, that it split from al-Qaeda in February 2014 and that it moved into Syria, gained access to the weapons and radicalized insurgents there and began acquiring oil lands and Iraqi territory like they were both going out of style. Over the summer, Iraqi troops ran from the IS and allowed the much smaller force to conquer Mosul because the Iraqis didn’t feel like dying for their government.
And now President Obama would like to use $5.6 billion to persuade them otherwise. That, and 1,500 American soldiers.
In late September, the President used the 1973 War Powers Act to order air strikes against IS without asking for Congressional approval. Considering that Obama couldn’t get Congressional approval for so much as a haircut these days, the move was unsurprising. But if the President wants to double the American soldiers stationed in Iraq in order to eradicate a force his own administration says may take years to defeat, he’ll need money and the consent of the Republican majority.
Not that his own party is totally convinced that $5 billion more will fix anything. As Democratic House member Barbara Lee told U.S. News, “Many national security experts have clearly stated that there is no military solution to ISIS. We must ensure that a robust regionally-led, political, diplomatic and economic strategy is central to any effort to any strategy to degrade and dismantle ISIS.”
Read the rest on The Sleuth Journal.