Thursday, February 23, 2017

Would U.S. Ground Forces In Syria Be A Propaganda Coup For The Islamic State?

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Daniel R. DePetris, National Interest: The Islamic State's Greatest Wish: U.S. Combat Forces in Syria

The presence of U.S. troops in Syria would be a morale boost for ISIS propagandists.

“The Defense Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against ISIS,” CNN reported last week. No options have been formally presented to the National Security Council or President Trump for consideration, and there will certainly be more choices on the menu for the NSC staff to consider. But if the deployment of potentially sending several thousand U.S. conventional forces into Syria is truly an option that the Trump administration is considering, then it should think long and hard before signing the order.

The question is not whether to defeat the Islamic State in Raqqa, but how to do it. As the bedrock of the counter-ISIS campaign and the country that has sent most of the advisers on the ground and conducted most of the air strikes on ISIS targets (68 percent of the air strikes in Iraq and 95 percent in Syria have been dropped by U.S. aircraft), how Washington, DC decides to push ISIS out of Raqqa will be determinative of the coalition’s entire strategy in Syria.

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WNU Editor: U.S. ground forces in Syria may expedite the destruction of the Islamic State even faster than what is happening now .... the propaganda victory will be for the U.S. .... not the Islamic State. Where it becomes a propaganda victory for the Islamic State is if the U.S. decides to stay .... and what that may entail. But for the moment .... no one really knows what the U.S. will do next .... let alone what they will do after the Islamic State has been destroyed.

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