Will President-elect Donald Trump send troops to Syria to “crush” ISIS/ISIL forces?

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 10 January 2017, 05:10 hrs, UTC, Post #79.



Accessed on 10 January 2017, 05:10 hrs, UTC.

Reporters:  Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary (“Foreign Policy” magazine).

Please click link to read the full analysis.


President-elect Donald Trump has promised many things, from the purely practical to the truly outrageous.

According to reporters Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary, Mr. Trump is considering “crushing” ISIS/ISIL forces by sending up to 30,000 military personnel into Syria and Northern Iraq to pursue and neutralize extremist fighters.

How Russian commanders in Syria and their temporary allies in Turkey and Iran will receive this news is anybody’s guess.

De Luce and McLeary, say discussions of adding more U.S. military forces to the area are ongoing and plans are being made to increase our troop strength in the region.  Apparently, airstrikes aren’t enough to dislodge militants who vow to fight to the death.

De Luce and McLeary believe such plans are fraught with danger and could sink the United States into an endless struggle in the deserts and mountains of the Middle East:

“Current and former military officers say Trump could make good on his promises of “quickly” defeating the Islamic State only if he sent in an overwhelming force of U.S. ground troops, a politically risky option that could plunge the United States into another fraught, open-ended occupation in the Middle East.

Though Trump campaigned on the idea of reducing U.S. commitments overseas, such a ground force has surprising traction inside the administration: Michael Flynn, tapped for national security advisor, has openly flirted with the idea.

The retired U.S. Army general and intelligence officer has suggested wider military action is required to tackle what he deems an “existential” threat, one he compares to the adversaries America faced in World War II and the Cold War.

“The sad fact is that we have to put troops on the ground. We won’t succeed against this enemy with airstrikes alone,” Flynn told Der Spiegel in 2015.”


For Vietnam War veterans such as I, this scenario is a bad recurring dream with no end in sight. The U.S. has been fighting insurgencies in the Middle East since the early 1990s when coalition forces unseated Saddam Hussein.  The United States should not do this alone. Whether we can cooperate with Russian, Iranian, and Turkish officials in bringing the jihadists to bay remains an open question.  It appears, our public declaration of withdrawing from the region was a bit premature. Russia should also take a lesson from our failure in Afghanistan.  Russian forces had a similar Afghan experience in the 1970s and 1980s, when they, too, left Afghanistan after years of unsuccessful operations there.  We never seem to learn the lessons of history.  We are doomed to repeat them again and again.

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Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest



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