Politics

McCain Says Fight Against ISIS Is The New Vietnam

REUTERS/Marko Djurica

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

The war against Islamic State is starting to look like the next Vietnam, says GOP Sen. [crscore]John McCain[/crscore].

McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, wrote a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Ash Carter warning the failed strategy employed in Vietnam is the same strategy the Obama administration is relying on in the war against ISIS.

The strategy is one of gradual escalation and gradual incrementalism and military officers are starting to realize the administration’s plans are going to eventually end in absolute failure without course correction. Loss of faith in the administration’s ability to execute this war is rapidly increasing.

“My conversations with military commanders both on the ground and in the Pentagon have led me to the disturbing, yet unavoidable conclusion that they have been reduced from considering what it will take to win to what they will be allowed to do by this administration,” McCain writes.

McCain used the letter to demand information from Carter on the number of personnel involved in Iraq and Syria, including those not listed in force management level numbers. He also wants to know the number of contractors in Iraq providing security services to the United States.

Part of the reason for all these questions is that although President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged not to put boots on the ground to engage in direct combat with ISIS, there are a number of deployments that look suspiciously close to boots on the ground. For example, in late December, Carter announced the deployment of special forces in Syria to target high-ranking ISIS officials. The Obama administration as of early April is also considering ramping up the number of special forces units in Syria.

While the administration is reporting huge success against ISIS, it’s not clear how much of that information is reliable, given reports from dozens of intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command of data manipulation and also an ongoing witch hunt to purge negative assessments.

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