The brutality of Islamic extremist groups are no longer surprising to the general public after a display of beheadings and executions, and in the face of this evil, international resolve is needed if this evil is to be stopped from spreading beyond Syria. On Tuesday, the next steps in fighting ISIS will be debated in front of Congress as the Obama administration is considering to authorize military involvement (including ground troops).
The President has already addressed the matter and asked that Congress approve a three-year plan so that the US may begin planning its offensive against the Islamic State militant group. Although president Obama’s ideal approach would encompass mostly air-focused attacks, special operations are being discussed as well as limited missions which involve boots on the ground.
Yet what president Obama has proposed will enter fierce debate and Congress will have to assess whether the president has devised a broad enough mandate and if the US’s involvement is truly a meritorious decision. While some political leaders, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, believe that president Obama should be given the green light to “defeat and destroy ISIL. Period.”, others (especially Democratic leaders) hope to restrict the president’s possibilities of widening this war. But can it be that the American foreign policy, particularly where the Middle East is concerned, could be heading down the wrong path?
The plan that the Obama administration has devised spreads across a 3 year period (after these 3 years, the next US president would again face Congress in order to assess the results of the campaign and discuss further plans, should they be needed). While focusing on air-attacks, the plan does entertain the possibility of ground forces being deployed, but only in particular situations (commando or rescue missions).
According to the president’s resolution on fighting this extremist group:
“The United States is working with regional and global allies and partners to degrade and defeat ISIL, to cut off its funding, to stop the flow of foreign fighters to its ranks, and to support local communities as they reject ISIL.”
Yet, for some Republican leaders, the president’s resolution isn’t viewed as going far enough. They ask president Obama to take even more responsibility when it comes to fighting ISIS, claiming that the president’s administration has repeatedly been behind the curve when it came to the confrontation with threats against the US.
There has been some criticism on the matter of the State Department’s refusal to acknowledge Islamic extremists for what they actually are: religious extremists. Because of this, Republican Lou Barletta says, it’s impossible for the US to actually fight the enemy that we constantly refuse to identify.
In the meantime, Muslim reformers feel wronged by the White House’s attitude towards all Muslims. Prominent groups of Muslim reformists were excluded from the White House’s terror summit this week as the president failed to accept their argument that extremist groups use Islam as a motivation. According to the president as well as officials within his administration, Islam cannot be connected to the brutal beheadings and burnings that ISIS has been conducting as a measure of terror in the Middle East.
On the other hand, Muslim reformers insist that the Obama administration should also focus on the Islamic ideology and how it serves as the roots of the extremists’ violent acts. They explain that disagreeing with such a claim does not make it disappear and insist that the theological roots behind ISIS’s actions should be addressed in order to efficiently fight this violent group.
Image Source: Msnbc