“We’ve got good momentum going,” General Joseph Votel, chief of U.S. Central Command, who is overseeing the war, said Tuesday. “We are really into the heart of the caliphate.”
But some of his predecessors disagree. James Mattis, a retired Marine general who commanded Central Command from 2010 to 2013, says the war on ISIS is “unguided by a sustained policy or sound strategy [and is] replete with half-measures.” Anthony Zinni, a retired Marine four-star who held the same post from 1997 to 2000, says he doesn’t think he could do so today. “I don’t want to be part of a strategy that in my heart of hearts I know is going to fail,” he says. “It’s a bad strategy, it’s the wrong strategy, and maybe I would tell the President that he would be better served to find somebody who believes in it, whoever that idiot may be.”
(And note, please, the reference in the opening paragraph to we’re-winning-by-Vietnam-standards. That ought to get everyone’s attention.)
I’ve asked the question before in different ways, but I’ll ask it again– What exactly is the US strategy against ISIS? I have yet to be told, and I work in the building where that answer, whatever it is, ought to be readily at hand.
If we don’t know what we aim to do, we’ve lost. Forget the numbers of this and that destroyed, they won’t matter.