Let us talk about this from both perspectives.
First, for all those who say ground troops must be sent in right this instant, the following five points might slake your enthusiasm.
1. Best ground troops –
The US ground soldiers receive only the highest in training in terms of combat skills, handling sophisticated equipment, expert coordination and troubleshooting, and interrogative strategies. More detail on this is available everywhere.
2. Good place when it comes to intelligence and ISIS maturity –
As the situation has developed, the US and it’s allies in the coalition that it leads are sufficiently apprised of the way things are at the moment. ISIS is just beginning to extend it’s domain and fortify it’s existing influence by effective narrative and certain other facilities that are being given to people in favour of it’s ideals. If this went on any further, it could turn into a very structured and sustained regime which would create a standing system in itself and leave diplomatic engagement as the only option without replaying another Saddam Hussein fiasco in the region.
3. Air attack insufficient –
The US led air attacks have managed to take out many of their operatives in numbers of one thousand or so according to certain sources. But with six thousand being recruited every month, calling that accomplishment negligible may not be construed as a lack of appreciation. In locations with such uneven geographic conditions such as mountainous terrain and unplanned city designs, navigating air equipment can be quite the challenge. It can be difficult, virtually impossible, to make any significant dent in their operations.
4. Can work on the ground-level with native military to achieve greater success –
Well, that goes without saying, really. The Iraqi military would have distinctive and unmediated knowledge of the where and hows. Wielding advanced machinery as the US led troops would, actively working with the Iraqi military would no doubt accelerate progress.
5. Setting up ground monitoring can more effectively contain the situation –
Some of the ground force, both native and external, could be committed to monitoring areas in and around. This would reduce the likelihood of new recruits and unexpected set backs in the plan’s functioning.
Now, let’s give those who say NOT YET a belly rub.
1. Visceral emotions are unpredictable –
The same people that feel up to the task from intelligently thinking about and assessing the horror being engendered in the embattled region may lose their spine upon actually seeing how bad things really are in the zone. After all, human emotion is complex.
2. Saviors maybe seen as crusaders –
As noble as the intentions of the battle-ready soldiers may be, without proper awareness and because of disputes and differences, the Iraqi people may view them only as aggressors that have come to make things worse. Hostility from the subjects you are trying to help can be very, very hard to subdue.
3. Need to access social impact –
Whatever ISIS has done in it’s currently held zones, it has managed to form something of a society. A very unstable and troubled society, but an ENTIRE society no less. Uprooting ISIS in one mighty sweep, might result in too heavy a social impact that could further subvert the economic progress of the subject nation and all affected parties.
4. Countering narrative is of paramount importance –
The ISIS narrative has been hugely successful in swaying thousands of former innocents over to the cause of radicalism. What has given momentum to their narrative is the emergence of a new caliphate that allows such extreme interpretations of Islamic scripture to be taken into consideration by the Muslim community. This narrative and it’s poisonous and dangerous message is being imbued into scores of people from around the world. Bringing credible, educated, Islam scholars to the fore to counter this narrative must be given due importance to prevent new insurgencies from taking ISIL’s place when it’s gone.
5. Need to asses economic impact and geopolitical factors –
These outcomes can be seen as by products of the social impact and the success, degree of success or altogether failure of countering the Islamic state narrative. Careful calculation that includes an evaluation of the extent of interdependencies between countries, influential political institutions, among other things has to go into assessing all possible eventualities with a strong focus on yielding the optimal results as far as economic growth and stability is concerned in the affected region.
All who say NOT YET should bear in mind that ISIS is at a burgeoning stage and should not be allowed to sprout roots any more than it already has. Quick action needs to be taken albeit mindfully.
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