09/19/2014 08:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

ISIS Isn't Alone: The Case for U.S. Ground Troops Anywhere Terror Exists in the World


In loving memory of Eric Arthur Blair...

Since "al-Qaeda breakaway group" ISIS is now firmly entrenched in key cities like Mosul and Fallujah and wishes to create a state of its own, it's no wonder that American soldiers might once again fight in Iraq. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates alluded to U.S. ground troops being sent to Iraq sometime in the near future. General Dempsey stated recently that if the president's current strategy fails, "I would go back to the president and make the recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces." The Former Defense Secretary was a bit more blunt, stating "The reality is, they're not gonna be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air, or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces, or the Peshmerga, or the Sunni tribes acting on their own...So there will be boots on the ground if there's to be any hope of success in the strategy." These statements combine ominously with the fact that we already have boots on the ground; President Obama has already sent 1,600 military advisers to Iraq, and if fired upon (American military advisers in Vietnam before 1965 sometimes fought in firefights) will of course fire back at ISIS or anyone else. Furthermore, the American media seems to understand the severity of the threat posed by ISIS. Fox just interviewed a Texas sheriff warning Americans of ISIS cells crossing the border and MSNBC has played the beheading videos around the same amount (easily in the thousands) of time as all the other stations.

America is gearing up for a long war against terror in Iraq even after the War officially ended in 2011 and also after a decade fighting in two Middle Eastern countries. Why? Lt. Col. Ralph Peters explained that the ISIS threat "is metastasizing, and our president is doing nothing, and at some point even the best efforts of New York's finest are not gonna be able to prevent that horrible attack." More importantly, not only is ISIS "metastasizing," but they're not the only terror threat growing in strength. There are over 50 other major terrorist organizations in the world, from Nigeria to the Philippines, and America can't wait for any of them to become the next ISIS. There's only one way to ensure that these bloodthirsty organizations don't "metastasize" and that's with U.S. ground troops in every country that either harbors or possesses within its borders, a terrorist group that could pose a threat to the U.S. Below are three reasons why U.S. ground troops are not only needed in Iraq to destroy ISIS (and they're heading there, just read the tea leaves), but also around the globe to ensure that "terror" never has a moment of peace.

1. Terrorists never send a postcard before they attack, so destroying all of them at once is the only real way to eradicate "terror."

It's better to target the next ISIS before it becomes too big a menace. Since all of them either communicate with one another, or might have some ties to the other, attacking them all in aggregate will prevent one from popping up in the future as the next big enemy of our country. There are well over 50 major terrorist organizations around the world according to the 2013 U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism:

U.S. Government Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

1. Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)
2. Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
3. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
4. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)
5. Ansar al-Dine (AAD)
6. Ansar al-Islam (AAI)
7. Army of Islam (AOI)
8. Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)
9. Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)
10. Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
11. Boko Haram (BH)
12. Communist Party of Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA)
13. Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
14. Gama'a al-Islamiyya (IG)
15. Hamas
16. Haqqani Network (HQN)
17. Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)
18. Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
19. Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM)
20. Hizballah
21. Indian Mujahedeen (IM)
22. Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)
23. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
24. Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru)
25. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
26. Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)
27. Jemaah Islamiya (JI)
28. Jundallah
29. Kahane Chai
30. Kata'ib Hizballah (KH)
31. Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
32. Lashkar e-Tayyiba
33. Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)
34. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
35. Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
36. Al-Mulathamun Battalion (AMB)
37. National Liberation Army (ELN)
38. Palestine Islamic Jihad - Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ)
39. Palestine Liberation Front - Abu Abbas Faction (PLF)
40. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
41. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
42. Al-Qa'ida (AQ)
43. Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
44. Al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI)
45. Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
46. Real IRA (RIRA)
47. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
48. Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N)
49. Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
50. Revolutionary Struggle (RS)
51. Al-Shabaab (AS)
52. Shining Path (SL)
53. Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
54. United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)

Looking into the crystal ball, who's the next ISIS? Nigeria's Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, or Abu Sayeff in the Philippines? How about AQAP or AQIM, since after all, the State Department states that, "In April 2013, AQI's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the group was operating in Syria and changed its public name to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(ISIL)." The reality of terror is that ISIS, or ISIL, or IS, used to be called Al-Qaeda Iraq. Terror is a hydra that constantly regenerates a newer, more nefarious appendage, so staying on the offensive is how our country should eradicate this global threat. Of course we can't send ground troops to Chechnya (the Russians obviously wouldn't allow this) even though the Council On Foreign Relations states, "there are several ties between the al-Qaeda network and Chechen groups." However, in the country's we can send troops, the only way to completely destroy these terrorists, as Secretary Gates and others have stated, is through the might of American soldiers. True, there's a long list of terrorists, but as Bill O'Reilly states, we've been "far too passive in confronting threats." All these groups engage in sex trafficking, beheadings, suicide bombings, and many other despicable acts, so any means necessary is acceptable in protecting the world from their evil.

2. It is apparent that airstrikes don't destroy terrorist groups.

According to The Long War Journal, "Since 2002, the US has been conducting a covert program to target and kill al Qaeda commanders based in Yemen. Reports show that strikes have numbered 101 since 2002, with enemy deaths numbering 491 and civilian deaths numbering 105." Even with all these strikes, al-Qaeda and other groups still exist in Yemen and one analyst claims, "The problem, however, is that, in Yemen at least, the U.S. has confused killing with winning." In Pakistan, The Long War Journal explains, "The US ramped up the number of strikes in July 2008, and has continued to regularly hit at Taliban and Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. There have been 361 strikes total since the program began in 2004; 350 of those strikes have taken place since January 2008." Even with all these aerial attacks, the Taliban and Al Qaeda still exists in Pakistan, and one day, like Iraq, American troops might be needed if the terrorists overrun cities. We're in Iraq now helping Iraqi troops, so why aren't we in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Nigeria, and other states helping other forces battling terror?

3. Realize that our country's sacrifice since 2001 is only the beginning and remember that we must be more patient than the terrorists. Fighting terror means making never-ending sacrifice.

Thus far, 4,486 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq and 2,347 U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan, 1 million U.S. soldiers wounded in both wars, and a potential cost of up to $6 trillion, a new group like ISIL now causes havoc in the Middle East. But like Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends and others have stated, once we change the rules of engagement, we'll finally be able to beat these terrorists in counterinsurgency wars and the asymmetric warfare they use to battle our troops. Also, our efforts will help prevent statistics like the "16 US citizens killed out of 17,891 globally and seven Americans wounded out of 32,577" in 2013 according to the Guardian. We owe it to the world to keep it safe from terror; over 17,850 more citizens in other countries die from terrorism.

Even if we destroy all the largest terrorist groups in the world, will this be enough to prevent people from ramming planes into buildings, or wearing suicide vests, or young men being recruited to kill others in the name of religion? Of course not, and ground troops in Iraq is a horrible idea. Unfortunately, our country is heading in this foolish and shortsighted direction. If after over a decade in Iraq, the Iraqi army isn't capable of defending itself and yet another terror group dominates the sectarian violence, we should realize that there are limits to American military might. This article is satire aimed at highlighting the futility of never-ending and costly wars battling a word, "terror," in a region that views this word differently from Americans. For the conspiracy theorists out there, this post is only meant to illustrate the insanity of using our soldiers to battle foes who engage in guerrilla tactics; I am against using ground troops in Iraq and have written a number of articles explaining my position. We've already learned lessons from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. If we ignore these lessons by acting like a gambling addict in Vegas looking for one more saving hand to cut his losses, then the Pandora's box we opened up over a decade ago will continue to cost us lives and immense sacrifice; without fully destroying any terrorist organizations.