U.S. War Strategy Takes Shape

(Washington Post) David Ignatius - The U.S. has gone into battle again, in yet another Muslim country, to attack the menace of violent extremism. This time, at least, the president could announce that U.S. military action was joined by a coalition of leading Arab nations: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar. The president insists that there won't be American combat "boots on the ground," but the role of American military advisers assisting Iraqi and perhaps rebel Syrian forces will be crucial. Obama and his advisers, led by Gen. John Allen, have focused on five main lines of operation against the Islamic State: direct military action, counterterrorism operations against foreign fighters, disruption of financing, humanitarian assistance, and media activities to delegitimize the extremists. The U.S. will lead the training of about 10,000 Sunni "national guard" troops in Iraq, drawn from tribal fighters. These Sunni forces will act as a local gendarmerie, to keep order in their home regions once Islamic State fighters have been cleared. Training camps are already under construction in Jordan and northern Iraq, and are expected to be ready in three to six months.

2014-09-24 00:00:00

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