It is a truism to say there is no military solution to ISIS. Any strategy must, of course, be comprehensive. It must squeeze ISIS’ finances. It requires an inclusive government in Baghdad that shares power and wealth with Iraqi Sunnis, rather than pushing them toward ISIS. It requires an end to the conflict in Syria, and a political transition there, because the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will never be a reliable partner against ISIS; in fact, it has abetted the rise of ISIS, just as it facilitated the terrorism of ISIS’ predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq. A strategy to counter ISIS also requires a regional approach to mobilize America’s partners in a coordinated, multilateral effort.
But ultimately, ISIS is a military force, and it must be confronted militarily. Mr. Obama has begun to take military actions against ISIS in Iraq, but they have been tactical and reactive half-measures. Continuing to confront ISIS in Iraq, but not in Syria, would be fighting with one hand tied behind our back. We need a military plan to defeat ISIS, wherever it is.
So basically McCain and Graham want another war, and expect President Obama to be the one to explain to America why we're going to blow another couple trillion dollars and send in hundreds of thousands of troops to fight this year's model of Al Qaeda. Because that worked so well over the last decade.
There's no military solution to ISIS, but we need military force to stop ISIS. Jesus. We dodged a hurricane's worth of anvils in 2008, and you will never convince me otherwise.