Kimberly Dozier of Daily Beast has an excellent piece today you might not see picked up by many in the Obama-puffing national media: "Special Ops to Obama: Let Us Fight ISIS, Already."
Dozier noted that the official line from top brass in the special forces is that destroying ISIS is a long, inter-generational slog. But while they may well be true, she noted, rank-and-file special forces operators express frustration with President Obama hamstringing their operations here and now:
TAMPA, Florida — Fighting simmering frustration in their ranks over ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria, top U.S. special operations commanders say they are building forces for a multi-generational fight—not a war that will be won in the next few years.
“We talk about it being a 15-year struggle,” Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, who heads the Air Force Special Operations Command, said during a special operations forum in Tampa.
But many special operations officers and troops both in Tampa and Washington don’t want to wait that long to take the fight to ISIS. They were eager to talk about their aggravation over fighting by remote in Iraq and Syria: having to advise Iraqis, Kurdish Peshmerga, and rebel Syrian fighters from afar instead of joining them in battle.
“We are doing everything through cellphones… It’s hard to do much when you can’t go outside the wire,” said one special operator, using the military jargon for the perimeter of a base.
They blame the hands-off approach on an Obama administration unwilling to risk even small numbers of American lives in battle, burned by the fallout of the loss of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and intent on preserving the legacy of President Barack Obama’s troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“You can’t say ‘We’re with you every step of the way, except when you are going on combat operations,’” said a former senior special operations official briefed on the ISIS campaign.
He and many other officers, current and former, at the conference believe both Mosul and Ramadi could have withstood the assault of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS, if a small number of U.S. military advisers had been working with Iraqi forces at the front lines.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the debates over war strategy.
To read the full piece, click here.