Should the U.S. send ground troops to fight ISIS?


In recent weeks, Congress and the President have been debating whether or not the U.S. should send ground troops to join the Middle Eastern Nations in their war against ISIS, and while there are obvious risks to this tactic, I believe that in order to successfully wage war against ISIS the introduction of ground troops is necessary.

In warfare, it is very hard to defeat an enemy with just aerial bombardment, and while we have achieved some success in our air campaigns in the past year, a more tangible ground assault is necessary. In recent wars, like Vietnam, our country has been defeated because of our reluctance to engage the enemy on the ground. One example is the systematic air bombardment of North Vietnam in the summers of 1972 and 1973. Because of the indecision and reluctance of US politicians and generals, we were unable to commit to proven military tactics of tactical support in the way of a ground campaign.

According to “The Air Campaign” by Air Force Colonel John Warden III, a modern military operation requires two branches of the military, be it Army, Air Force or Navy, to be successful. As of right now, the U.S. and its allies are participating in a systematic drone bombardment that has been relatively successful at halting the ISIS advance in Iraq.

However, in order to truly stop the barbaric plague that is the Islamic State, a more cohesive and tangible ground approach is necessary in order to totally understand the results. In addition, the overall success of strategic co-operation between branches of the military is historically worth the potential cost. Although a more hard fought ground approach would be potentially costly and far more dangerous for American servicemen, the overall advance of ISIS and the risk associated with a financially and militarily stronger ISIS in the future should lead to a much more drastic response from the country.

The U.S. cannot make the same mistakes it did in Vietnam when it allowed for a relatively weak communist North Vietnam to defeat the French and earn invaluable experience that would be a deadly combination in the future war there. If the U.S. has the ability to try to protect the minorities of Iraq and Syria at the same time as warding off a potentially stronger ISIS, it should take that opportunity as quickly as possible.

In my opinion,  the U.S. will be much better off if it introduces ground troops to the campaign against the Islamic State in the Middle East.