An invisible, well-hidden, lethal enemy may be the most difficult thing to protect against. That probably has been true since the main weapons were sticks and stones.
Recently I bumped into one of the smartest, retired, very senior generals in our military world.
I asked why we had not adopted the same strategy and tactics that ISIS uses to counter them with the same kind of uncertainty that keeps us off balance.
The answer I got surprised me: “Who said we were not doing that?”
He went on to say that within the constraints imposed by our commander in chief, we are trying to do just that. He added that it does not help to keep that fact secret. The more imbalances ISIS feels, the less they can accomplish, so we should bellow our intentions, just not any specific plans.
His wish is that we had started down this road much earlier and were now pouring on the coal more aggressively.
One of the choke points constraining the White House has been fear of “boots on the ground” because the country is war-weary.
He fears that the White House has failed to make the case of distinguishing real boots on the ground (Army units) from the kind of pseudo boots that special forces and CIA regularly use with great effect.
We have seen in Ukraine how Putin has gotten away with using Russian troops who have no markings of the military on their uniforms. That process seems very underhanded, but what they are doing is even more underhanded. We presumably could recruit quite large units of multinational volunteers who together could constitute quite an impressive threat to ISIS forces, who are still not too numerous. Those units also presumably could make use of our powerful abilities to transport and communicate tactical strength. Think the raid that took out Osama bin Laden.
If ISIS were surprised often enough by effective paramilitary incursions, we could tilt the scale of advantage quite quickly.
Assuming my retired general friend knows what he is talking about — which I do — we all should start barking at the White House to up the ante big-time along these lines.
I have been a longtime admirer and supporter of Obama. On this matter I feel he is being too cautious and timid.
Come on, POTUS, let’s get to work.