John McCain and some of the louder pro-war voices in Congress have been criticizing the president for ruling out putting American boots on the ground in the battle against ISIS. These people want to see Iraq War 2 and feel that the Bush Doctrine that the only way to resolve issues in the Middle East is by putting our troops in harm's way. President Obama has another way and it appears to be working, validating a key tenet of his foreign policy.
When elected, President Obama promised a foreign policy based on rebuilding the alliances with our allies that had fractured by the Bush Administration. The president has built up relationships with friendly Arab nations and strengthened those in Europe. Simply, the strategy is working. With the Ukraine, Europe has been unified with the US in opposing Russia's military incursions and has unanimously enacted strong economic sanctions. It is also now working in responding to ISIS.
Under President Obama's leadership the US has had a strong response with air strikes against ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria. Also we have supported a more inclusive Iraqi government to pacify Sunni unrest, while providing assistance to Syrian rebels opposed to ISIS. While doing this the President has been able to engage Arab nations in the fight, getting commitments of forces and funds. Europe has also come on board, pledging air power to supplement ours. So as opposed to Bush in Iraq, the fight against ISIS will be a true coalition effort. President Obama knows that this battle will take time and this type of sustainable coalition is needed to be successful. The US cannot be seen as an invader but a leader and supporter of the will of local nations. The people we are sending to the area are advisers, not fighters.
So when McCain starts yelling on the Senate floor, President Obama is right to ignore him. The patient focused foreign policy he has been developing is bearing fruit. If we are to defeat ISIS the only way to do it is as a leader of a strong coalition not as the lone cowboy. The Iraq war cost the lives of thousands of US troops, tens of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of billions of dollars for very little result. We cannot afford this again. Stay the course Mr. President!!!