[O’Reilly] knows advocating for American troops to take up the fight themselves is extremely unpopular. O’Reilly, problem solver that he is, has a solution: “elite fighters who would be well paid, well trained to defeat terrorists all over the world.” Since that worked so well in Iraq last time around. What we need is more Blackwater. In the O’Reilly fantasy, the 25,000-person force would be English-speaking, “recruited by the USA and trained in America by our special operations troops,” and dubbed “the Anti-Terror Army,” because the Avengers is already taken.
Allahpundit dismantles O’Reilly’s pipe dream:
The flaw is that there’s no obvious next step if the mercenaries succeed in routing ISIS from Raqqa and eastern Syria. Who takes over and rules that half of the country if that happens? Assad? He’ll butcher the Sunni civilians there and the Sunnis know it. A new sectarian rebellion against the regime would spring up overnight. Some sort of multinational Sunni force of Saudi, Turkish, and Jordanian troops? Iran will never let the Saudis have that kind of foothold, and besides, none of those countries want the headache of pacifying radicalized Sunni Syrian civilians. NATO doesn’t want it either, of course; an army of western peacekeepers would be even more culturally estranged from Syrian Arabs than a multinational Sunni force would.
The theoretical virtue of Obama’s “arm the Syrian moderates” plan is that if the moderates were to defeat ISIS, they’d be comparatively well positioned to take over as rulers of eastern Syria. They’re natives and they’re Sunnis; they’re probably acceptable to the locals. But of course, the moderates aren’t going to defeat ISIS, which puts us back at square one.
(Image via Barbara Morrill)