The Real News Network has the interview U.S. Will Fail In Attempt to Create Proxy Army in Syria.
BENNIS: I have no doubt that those who support the idea that the U.S. should actually send ground troops into one more war in the Middle East–something that the American people are vastly opposed to, that analysts who understand what the consequences are are enormously opposed to. But nonetheless there are political actors who are calling for it, as you say, and they will no doubt use this as more evidence that it never works unless there are U.S. troops on the ground.
The problem is, number one, it hasn’t worked when there are U.S. troops on the ground. So the argument simply falls apart.
But I think there’s also the possibility that some in the CIA may have leaked this report not as a way of justifying putting more troops on the ground, although that’s possible, but as a way of explaining their inevitable failure, that these air raids are not going to succeed, not because there aren’t also troops on the ground, but because there are no military solutions. This is what President Obama has said over and over again, and it’s the one right thing that he has been consistent about in his rhetoric, and it’s the one thing he has consistently violated in his actions.
There are no military solutions here. And claiming that there are, trying to use military solutions, is inevitably going to fail. It will fail dramatically if it’s only airstrikes. It will fail even more dramatically if it is airstrikes plus U.S. ground forces. There are no military solutions.
And the political solutions that are necessary are not yet being put in place, because all of the focus is going towards the military, despite the claim that the military actions are only one part and we’re really working on the diplomacy, the military actions are preventing any serious diplomatic move from going forward.
What’s needed in Iraq is an end to the understanding of Iraq’s Sunni population that the government in Baghdad, backed by the United States, has no interest in protecting their rights. That’s why they began to support ISIS and organizations like it in the past. The Sunni tribal leaders, the Sunni former generals, and ordinary Sunnis started to support organizations like ISIS because they felt that the government in Baghdad was consistently attacking them through its own sectarian militias and its army, which is really, historically, one more Shia sectarian militia in Iraq, albeit the biggest one.
In that context, every time the U.S. goes in with airstrikes in support of the Kurds and the Shia against ISIS, it’s seen by Sunnis as one more airstrike against Sunnis, and it’s going to undermine any possibility of changing the politics.
What seemed to have worked to get former Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki off the dime and retire was Obama’s refusal to help with the ISIS problem until Maliki relented. Putting pressure on Iraq to have a more inclusive government is the non-military way of solving the problem. If we take the pressure off of the Iraqi politicians by using our military powers to hide the reality from them, then we will never get them to do what they must do. That is why there is no US backed military solution to the problem. The military “solution” is actually one cause of the problem in that it allows the Iraqi politicians to avoid facing reality.