Prediction Creep in Syria

By: Tuesday October 7, 2014 7:05 am

While our military operations in Syria against ISIS have only started the prediction creep is already growing rapidly. That is when top politicians, Obama officials, military leaders, and outside experts start telling us that the relatively limited campaign we were sold could easily become much longer and more involved. This mentally prepares people for the [...]

Because Our Plan for “Success” in Syria Worked So Well in Libya

By: Monday October 6, 2014 10:08 am

Our strategy in Syria is remarkably similar to our previous strategy in Libya. In both the idea is heavy international air strikes combined with arming and training local “moderate” rebels, but no ‘boots on the ground.’ So before we spend billions in Syria we should take a moment to see how well this basic plan [...]

We Could Have Hired 10,000 Teachers– Instead, We Got a War

By: Tuesday September 30, 2014 8:01 am

Our war against ISIS has already cost between $780 and $930 million so far, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. That is enough money to hire 10,000 teachers to work for a year. That, of course, represents only a fraction of the money we will spend on a operation President Obama warned [...]

Obama Has Public Support for Bombing Syria, for Now

By: Monday September 29, 2014 6:50 am

So far President Obama has successfully sold his latest military action in Syria and Iraq but its public support is built on a foundation of sand. According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 73 percent favor  “military air strikes conducted by the United States and its Western European and Arab allies against the ISIS forces in [...]

So What Do We Do After We Destroy ISIS?

By: Friday September 26, 2014 8:41 am

Let’s make the big assumption that we can actually succeed in achieving our goal in this new war of degrading and destroying ISIS. What is our plan after that, because there are dozens of scenarios that could take place after ISIS is destroyed and we end up extremely unhappy with many of them. What if [...]

Speaker Boehner Doesn’t Want Syria War Authorization Vote Until Next Year

By: Thursday September 25, 2014 8:18 am

We didn’t get a Congress vote authorizing a new war in Syria before it started and now we might not actually get one until long after we started fighting. Speaker John Boehner (R) told the New York Times he doesn’t want to debate the issue during the lame duck. From the NYT: “I have made it [...]

Syria Mission Creep Already Begins

By: Tuesday September 23, 2014 9:19 am

Often when the United States gets militarily involved in another country it can takes weeks or even months for the mission to slowly creepy beyond the initial justification, but this time we are lucky. In Syria we got witness the mission creep from almost the very beginning. Yesterday, the United States and its allies began [...]

What Makes the US Think it Can Effectively Train Middle East Armies?

By: Tuesday September 23, 2014 6:48 am

Now that we have officially started the War in Syria I want to make a point about a key part of President Obama’s plan against ISIS. It depends heavily on finding and training “moderate” rebels. Over the course of a relatively short period of time we are planning to turn a diverse group of militias, who may or may not currently be enemies which each other, into a coherent force capable of defeating ISIS on the ground. This is so fundamental to Obama’s plan that extra funding for these rebels was the only part that actually got a vote in Congress.

As We Go to War, Congress Goes Home

By: Friday September 19, 2014 7:42 am

As President Obama gets the nation involved in a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy war in Syria, Congress is leaving the capital for the next two months to campaign for re-election to the job they refuse to do. They left without actually voting on a declaration of war as is required by the Constitution. The [...]

We Are Arming All Sides

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 1:12 pm

UPDATE: Obama Delivers Statement on Continuing Resolution Audio link Before sending more weapons to so-called “moderate” rebel groups in Syria, let’s just take a moment to consider the pernicious arms cycle we perpetuate. Previously, we armed rebels in Libya. That helped overthrow the dictator there but also destabilized the country. As a result of the [...]