Within the past few days, President Barack Obama has pushed for a new War Powers Resolution from Congress that would allow him to conduct offensive actions against the Islamic State group for the next three years.
The U.S. is divided as to what course of action is necessary to take against the Islamic State group, according to the Brookings Institute. There are, though, effective, long-term solutions to assuring the Islamic State group’s destruction that will take pressure off the U.S.
Jordan has recently taken front stage in the offensive against Islamic State group in the aftermath of one of their fighter pilots being burned alive in a cage. Jordan’s foreign minister, Nasser Judah, has said “This is our war,” and rightfully so.
The U.S. should allow Jordan to establish itself as a leader in regards to the region’s security. It would vastly limit the amount of direct involvement required by the U.S. after years in the region, and it makes the Middle East responsible for its own security.
With one of the most professional armies in the region, Jordan has a $1.5 billion defense budget and security cooperation agreements with Israel. Since Jordan sits on the Islamic State group’s western flank, they’re in the position for any ground operations that will be necessary against the terrorist group. Make no mistake, King Abdullah II will send in Jordan’s armies within the coming weeks.
Whether we like it or not, bombing the Islamic State group back to the stone age will never recapture the ground lost in Northern Iraq. Iraq’s forces should be ready to begin the offense within coming weeks, top U.S. envoy Gen. John Allen said in an interview with Jordan’s official Petra news agency.
The U.S. should send in special operations forces along the Islamic State group’s southern flank to make a powerful, yet light impression in the conflict, especially since historically, Iraqi forces have been inept and incompetent. Sending in a light force such as a SEAL team or a Ranger Battalion, along with a Joint Special Operations Command Special Missions Unit, would spearhead retaking urban targets, while leaving the bulk of the duty to Iraq’s forces.
While retaking Iraq is a temporary band-aid to the crisis, outside international involvement in the Syrian Civil War will be the key to ensuring their destruction. It will require, though, vastly more cooperation with outside superpowers such as Russia and China. Northern Iraq will also need to be rebuilt, and involving the Kurds will re-emerge as an issue through the region in the aftermath of the Islamic State group’s destruction.
Joel Blankenship is a sophomore in political science.