At the top of U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s agenda for 2015 is stopping the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Many critics assert that the current policy of limited air strikes is insufficient to defeat or seriously weaken ISIS and have offered radical alternatives. However, these “cures” are far worse than the disease. The best plan is to aggressively move forward within the broad parameters of the current strategy, building on its successes and vastly diminishing ISIS’ power and influence by the time U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office in two years.
There are two prominent (and nearly polar opposite) alternatives to current policy. At one extreme, CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot calls for the deployment of up to 30,000 U.S. ground combat troops, a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone, and incentives to enlist Turkey as an active military partner in the fight—
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