Finally - Ground Troops Fighting Daesh

11 December 2015

By Salman Aldosary

After years of hesitation, US President Barack Obama's administration has acknowledged that there is no way to defeat terrorist organisations that are wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria except by sending in ground troops, instead of being content with air strikes which are not producing any real change on the ground since the beginning of the international coalition's operations in September last year.

The American Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter admitted indirectly that the decision to send 50 soldiers to fight Daesh is illogical and announced that he will deploy U.S. Special Forces to Iraq to carry out operations against Daesh including the launch of raids on Daesh centres in Syria. As for the American Secretary of State John Kerry, he stressed that the deployment of Syrian or Arab ground troops was a must in order to defeat Daesh.

Putting aside Mr Obama's statements that sending more troops to fight Daesh in Iraq ''does not mean that he will go down the same route as American intervention in 2003'', Obama is aware that his administration's slogan ''the absence of a military solution to anything'' has proved his complete failure. The United States has finally realised that it needs real military force to defeat Daesh and if it does not fight it today in Syria and Iraq, then it will fight it tomorrow in Texas and New York.

It can be said that in the presence of a huge air force there is no need for an enormous number of ground troops to defeat Daesh, and the United States does not need to repeat its attempt to invade Iraq where the number of troops operating on the ground is between 100,000 to 150,000. These troops need not be solely American, for France is willing to participate, and Britain has hinted that it will send ground troops to complete this common force made up of western, Arab and Islamic countries. Without these ground troops, fighting Daesh timidly as is being done now will not be beneficial especially in light of Daesh's gains from Iranian Russian intervention supporting its bases in Syria and Iraq.

Salman Aldosary is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. 



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