And Then? What Happens After Victory Over Daesh

U.S. Airstrike in Kobani (AP Photo)

Since 2014 and their declaration of the Caliphate, this thing called ISIS has been dominating the news cycle. From destruction of antiquities to the massacre of civilians, ISIS has been losing friends and influencing people in negative ways for quite some time. But even as politicians call for carpet bombing of this non-state pretender-state actor, Daesh is losing momentum. In fact, one could even say we might see the end of the Daeshbags within the next year and a half. They are losing ground rapidly in Iraq and are seeing significant losses in Syria, as their ability to draw fighters to their cause dwindles. Their supply lines shrink, their leadership falls victim to drone strikes, and their fighters are dying. A lot.

So much for the good news.

Because guess what? We once had the Taliban on the run and forced Al Qaeda into hiding.

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Remember this? That was when we actually had won, before the State Department and friends managed to turn an entire military into an insurgency. Thanks Paul Bremer. (Atlantic Photo)

Turns out, we’re good at breaking things. But as Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us, the transition from breaking things to putting things back together (that’s infantry-speak) is fairly tricky. So tricky that our peace has been historically more difficult than war. And this current conflict’s resolution will be even worse, as the various factions make Game of Thrones look like Sesame Street.

This post is not meant to offer any solution, as had I solved that problem I would be making millions as a peace contractor. It is meant instead to offer a brief warning. We might be winning whatever it is that we call our actions against Daesh, but beware victory: it will bring a bigger problem than the current one.

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2 Replies to “And Then? What Happens After Victory Over Daesh”

  1. Good point. How do we do it? We need to be firm but fair and it might involve using deadly force during the occupation, which we failed to do I. The 2nd Gulf War because everybody was afraid of being indicted by the peace activists and EU. Think about it, every major General in WW2 Would be labeled and indicted for being a war criminal. That’s why the US military has not won a war permanently since WW2.


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