To defeat ISIS, the president needs to dispatch more aircraft, military advisors, and special operations forces, while loosening the restrictions under which they operate. The president also needs to do a better job of mobilizing support from Sunnis in Iraq and Syria, as well as from Turkey, by showing that he is intent on deposing not only ISIS but also the equally murderous Alawite regime in Damascus. Specific steps include:...Send in the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Between 2003 and 2010, JSOC—composed of units such as SEAL Team Six and Delta Force—became skilled at targeting the networks of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Its success was largely due to its ability to gather intelligence by interrogating prisoners and scooping up computers and documents—something that bombing alone cannot accomplish. JSOC squadrons should once again be moved to the region (they could be stationed in Iraq proper, the Kurdistan Regional Government, Turkey, and/or Jordan) to target high-level ISIS organizers.
Max calls for the silver bullet. Somehow I think operations in Syria will be much different than were operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Syria will be the most sustained denied area in which they would ever have to operate and to conduct the level of operations that were conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan will require even greater conventional support (and not just air support). I do not mean this at all to disparage JSOC and the great missions they have conducted and the important contributions they have made but we should remember the 5th SOF truth about most special operations requiring non-SOF support. Without the ground combat capability provided by conventional ground combat forces JSOC will not be able to sustain the level of operations (OPTEMPO - operational tempo) that was sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the catch 22 in Syria and even to a certain extent in Iraq though it is possible that a well advised Iraqi force could provide some capability to support JSOC operations in Iraq (if approved by the sovereign Iraqi government assuming we still consider Iraq a sovereign nation) but of course not nearly to the level of US ground combat forces.