Class Warfare Blog

July 6, 2016

Why Our War on ISIS is Wrong and Stupid

In a column on The Conversation, Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, and author of “Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threats from the Margins” makes a couple of interesting points.

The first is this: “The air war of the last 23 months has been far more intense than reported, with at least 30,000 IS supporters killed so far and inroads being made into the group’s controlled territory, especially in Iraq but also in Libya. But to forecast any kind of victory in the near future is hugely dangerous.”

I find this interesting as when ISIS sprung up, its numbers were put at 10,000, then adjusted to 20,000, but certainly no more than 30,000. So, according to our government, we have killed 30,000 and the war is over, right? No? Why not?

Could it be that our drone happy administration sees someone they think is an ISIS participant, standing amongst 14 or 15 others, launches a missile, and declares 15 ISIS supporters dead? This is the administration, remember, that has kept a designation of any male of military age (14-80?) as being a “combatant.” Surely this is not a stretch.

The U.S. has become enamored of air power and think it can win wars for us. It cannot. It has been proven so on the battlefield. Yes, bombings have an impact, but air power does not win wars. Ask the Soviets, the bombed the shit out of Afghanistan, then fled with their tails between their legs, leaving behind a country in which a small part was still willing to take on the U.S., with no air power at all.

Professor Rogers hits the nail on the head, though, toward the end of his piece with: “Even 15 years after 9/11, Western strategists still fail to see al-Qaeda and IS for what they are: transnational revolutionary movements rooted in an eschatological outlook which sees this earthly life as just one part of the process. At root, IS wants and needs war with the West, and the West is giving it just what it wants. Until that fact is confronted, the war will go on.”

ISIS is not our problem. Sure we contributed to the problem even could be described as having created it, but we are not the solution. We are the problem. The only way out is to have the region take care of its own problems and to stop meddling. Being goaded to “take action” by people who make millions, if not billions, from weapons sales and graft is unbecoming for any government wanting the label of “good.”



  1. Being goaded to “take action” by people who make millions, if not billions, from weapons sales and graft …

    Sums it up perfectly.


    Comment by Nan — July 6, 2016 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  2. I agree that ISIS isn’t exactly our problem, so if we’re willing to let them overrun Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and so on, they will eventually brutalize the locals enough that ISIS would lose most local allies until a strong enough local rebellion will destroy them. This is the only realistic path to ISIS’s defeat (but not a guaranteed one) that I can see.
    Of course, that path would turn most of the Middle East into one giant civil war with maybe a few million people killed and tens of millions of refugees.


    Comment by List of X — July 6, 2016 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

    • that path would turn most of the Middle East into one giant civil war

      I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing …


      Comment by Nan — July 6, 2016 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

    • Think about it this way. If Canada and the U.S. were at war (Hey, it happened!) how would we look at other countries sticking their noses in without asking. What of the Italians landed troops here? I understand intervention to protect noncombatants but that is not what we are doing.

      (Blame Caaanada! La de da …)

      On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 4:42 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 6, 2016 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

      • If the Italians came to help us repel the attacks from the Great Northern Evil Empire, I’m sure we’d look at their arrival very positively.


        Comment by List of X — July 6, 2016 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

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