In the many strategies proposed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) by presidential candidates, policymakers, and media pundits alike across the American political spectrum, one common element stands out: someone else should really do it. The United States will send in planes, advisers, and special ops guys, but it would be best -- and this varies depending on which pseudo-strategist you cite -- if the Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sunnis, and/or Shias would please step in soon and get America off the hook.
Van Buren usually wields a comprehensive pen but this time he falls into the same trap as many whom he has criticized previously. It is fine to tell us what we know... it is even fine to tell us what you think we don't know but should (this article in a case in point)...
But it is simply writing for a buck to do all this and then leave unanswered the question of what else should be done!!!
Van Buren never says a word about what else could be tried in the Middle East. To say we can't go it alone is one thing and then to say we can't expect others to go along with us is another (covering all the bases thereby) but then what?
A false gravitas is the only result of a >>> 'Don't know the answer but I'll talk about it anyway' type of piece. These we have aplenty already.
Reagan withdrew the troops after the truck bombing of the Marine barracks that killed 250 Marines. Today, withdrawal is unthinkable because of the enormous war profits of the corporatocracy.
Before answering what else should be done, the question that should be asked is why is this country, there, in the first place, but that discussion never seems to get beyond the boogeyman du jour - weapons of mass destruction, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and, now, ISIS. If Van Buren wants to do some serious investigative reporting, he should name names as to who in Washington is specifically benefitting by our presence in the Middle East. Discussing the success or failures of past, present and proposed strategies does little to expose the man behind the curtain. Middle east policies seem illogical, ineffective and counterproductive only if you swallow official propaganda nonsense such as making us safer, establishing democracy, defending human rights and so on.