August 29, 2014 | Quoted by Erik Ortiz - NBC News
Should President Obama Have Said There’s No Strategy Yet Against ISIS?
The U.S. must commit to airstrikes on ISIS’s Syrian strongholds after similar raids have worked in Iraq, said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow with the national security think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In addition, he said, the U.S. must continue working with Iraqi forces and other enemies of ISIS.
“Those forces should be the ones at the forefront of the fighting on the ground, not us,” Gartenstein-Ross said.
Another new tactic to be considered should be the targeted killings of ISIS’s leaders — either through airstrikes, our allies on the ground or by special operations forces, Gartenstein-Ross said.
ISIS’s self-described “caliph,” or leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is an obvious target — remaining a shadowy but central figure in the fight. Iraqi forces should also push to recapture other cities and regions that ISIS seized as it stormed across the northern part of the country in May, Gartenstein-Ross said.
“Mosul is the glue that holds this caliphate together,” he added. “The (Iraqi forces) need to put pressure on Mosul and force ISIS to expend a lot of resources.”
Gartenstein-Ross said Obama not detailing a strategy now isn't necessarily a bad decision.
“I would certainly hope that we get a strategy together, and that the president doesn’t put it all forward right away in a press conference,” he said. “Part of winning a war is the element of surprise.”