The U.S. Senate approved yesterday a measure that would train and arm Syrian rebels to fight the ISIS militants. It was a rare show of unity with the House of Representatives who had previously voted in favor of the bill.
Is this war by proxy?
All week, we’ve talked about the rise of the Islamist militant group ISIS (or ISIL) and reactions to it. We’ve discussed the Pope’s proclamation that “war is madness,” Americans’ fears of becoming victims of terrorism, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey’s comment about the possibility of U.S. boots on the ground, and the dilemma of sacrificing civil liberties for more security.
Many are trying to read the tea leaves of Dempsey’s remark. Was it planted by the administration? Was it just a hypothetical? Was it a prediction—or expectation?
Slate commenter Fred Kaplan said, “What’s worth a shudder is thinking about what his successor might do.” This means, of course, that the war against ISIS will extend beyond Obama’s presidency. He pledges to not put U.S. boots on the ground, but what will his successor do?
So far, it will be war by proxy: American airstrikes and local troops armed and trained by America.
Do you think that war by proxy will work?
Will we see more and more U.S. advisers in the Middle East?
Do you predict U.S. boots on the ground once again?