America should declare to friends and allies in the Middle East, as Nixon did to our friends and allies in Asia in the Guam Doctrine of 1969, that while we will stand with them when they are attacked, they, not we, will provide the soldiers for their own defense.
No nation is less threatened by ISIS than ours. And as the Syrians, Turks, Kurds, and Iraqis have the proximity and manpower to defeat ISIS, they should do this job themselves.
Turkey shares a 550-mile border with Syria and could march in and crush ISIS. But if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wishes to play games with ISIS, out of hatred of Assad, let him and the Turks live with the consequences.
As for Syria’s army and regime, which either defeats ISIS or dies, let us cease impeding their efforts by backing a Free Syrian Army that has rarely won a battle and is only bleeding the Syrian army.
Kurdistan and its ethnic cousins in Syria, Turkey, and Iran are capable of defending themselves; and we should encourage any nation, including Iran, that is willing to send them the weapons to fight ISIS.
As for Baghdad, if it wants its Sunni lands back, it either should fight for them or accept their loss. We Americans are living today with the consequences, in considerable losses of blood and treasure, of fighting other people’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.
Yet, we are suffering not at all from having kept out of other people’s wars — in Georgia, Crimea, Donetsk, Syria, and Iran.
Speaking of the debate over U.S. air strikes in Syria, the New York Times writes, “There are too many unanswered questions to make that decision now, and there has been far too little public discussion for Mr. Obama to expect Americans to rally behind what could be another costly military commitment.”
Sometimes the Times gets it right.
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