An ISIL fighter in Iraq
ISIL fighter in Iraq (PA WIRE)

My previous post about why I think President Obama’s ISIL strategy is lame will make most Obama defenders ask “Well, what’s YOUR strategy? ” This post serves as my answer.

No matter how Team Obama markets its four-point plan to destroy ISIL, bombs take center stage here—as if America can offer nothing else to the world except for cruise missiles and drones.

If American missiles work so well, why is Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen – all beneficiaries of US missile diplomacy – still jacked up?


Islamist fighter waving a flag (REUTERS)

I believe America has the diplomatic and economic resources to offer much more than carnage, and a few framework adjustments can make the President’s ISIL plan workable.

I’ll echo the thoughts of many others—a key adjustment to make is to stop viewing ISIL as a terrorist organization.

Don’t fall out your chair yet. Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization. ISIL, on the other hand, is attempting to create a country, complete with (expanding) borders, trading partners and services delivered to citizens.

You probably see where I’m headed right now—treat ISIL as a rogue nation, and starve it. I think it’s ridiculous that the US can slap Iran and Russia with sanctions, and not do the same to ISIL.

It’s time to discuss a topic American diplomats will consider uncomfortable. There are strong reasons to believe that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – all of whom are “friends” of America and will ally with any group who wants to overthrow the Syria government – are either funding ISIL or trading with it. America needs to put a stop to this and all other financial support to ISIL. Let’s face it, someone’s buying ISIL’s oil and helping it procure supplies. This needs to stop.




Next, any counterterrorism activity performed by the US should include winning the support of ISIL’s “citizens.” The US had some level of success with this tactic in the past.

like I said in my last post, the Syrian rebels are too fickle for President Obama to trust. Not to mention that the reasons for the Syria civil war are still suspect in my view. The level of jihadist infiltration makes arming or funding the rebels foolish. Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the US, said it best:

“We can’t really control the final destination of these arms.”

The US is in no position to be choosy about partners at this point. I’ll repeat what I said before—overthrowing Syria needs to take a lower priority when compared to eliminating ISIL. That means President Obama should collaborate with Syria, Iran, and possibly Russia to fight ISIL. If America could share the same planet with the country that gave us Mao Tse Tung, then America can work with Syria to eliminate a homeland threat.

britsh isil militants

Finally, bombs have a place if they are used to stop ISIL’s expansion.

That’s my plan, folks. The big flaw with my recommendations is that I don’t see America changing its framework anytime soon, even if its security depends on it…

song currently stuck in my head: “stardust” – dave brubeck quartet


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