With nearly 200 F-22 stealth fighter jets at 190 million dollars each, one might assume the war with ISIS would be an inevitable victory, especially going against ISIS militants who have very little anti air capability.
However since the beginning of international airstrikes against ISIS that began in August, the terrorist group hasn’t shrunk at all.
In-fact it is relentlessly expanding into the Anbar province, which is right on the doorstep of Baghdad. Throughout this onslaught on the Anbar province ISIS came within 15.5 miles of the Baghdad airport.
With more degrading losses, the Iraqi forces that were trained by the United States over the last decade, have threatened to disband if they do not receive ground support from the United States.
Currently ISIS controls roughly 80 percent of the Anbar province. There are also intelligence reports that roughly 10,000 ISIS troops have been dispatched from Syria to the Anbar province.
The evidence is clear that United States airstrikes haven’t slowed ISIS down enough for Iraqi forces to push back against ISIS. Retired United States Air force Lt. Col. Rick Francona, who is currently a CNN military analyst said, “I think at some point there’s going to need to be the need for an additional ground force in western Iraq.”
The Iraqi army has virtually evaporated. The command structure doesn’t exist. Although they have some good soldiers, they have no leadership. Additional ground forces are a necessity.” The United States made the decision to engage ISIS and now it has to live up to that responsibility.
That’s just the problem in Iraq; in Syria ISIS is around three quarters of a kilometer away from taking the third border town crossing from Syria to Turkey, Kobani. The Kurdish fighters defending the city are overwhelmingly outnumbered and outgunned and the loss of this border crossing would give ISIS control of a 100 kilometer portion of the Syrian border.
Given ISIS’s infamous record with draconian civilian brutality, United Nations envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, warned, “ The 12,000 citizens…will be most likely massacred. We know — we have seen it — what ISIS is capable of doing when they take over a city… with women, children, minorities and hostages.”
Although an admirable idea, the United States’ plan to avoid deploying ground troops has been a complete failure. We as a nation must make the decision to either fight ISIS with full force or not fight them at all.
Like most high school upperclassmen my largest concern is for the future. We consider, what college are we going to go to? What do we want to do when we are older?What are we going to get on the SAT? However, it’s quickly becoming a very real possibility that the United States might have to deploy ground troops to attempt to save the Middle East once again. Let’s start with the certainty of this plunging the United States into more debt with foreign nations.
The cost of war does not only tug at the United State’s economy, it involves the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Americans and their families. In addition the cost of airstrikes alone is astronomical.
By September 30th, the United States had already spent around one billion dollars. And the estimated cost to maintain our airstrikes is around 320 million dollars a month.
That’s a lot of money to be spending for something that has failed to stop ISIS’s advance. And that monthly expenditure would rise exponentially if we had to deploy ground troops. However, at least then we might actually begin to stop ISIS. Everyone has heard the joke that the United States is the “world’s police.”
Yet ISIS poses a legitimate threat to the United States and especially its European allies. The United States needs to find a way to stop ISIS and the best chance at that will involve U.S. troops on the ground.