AP has reported that the Pentagon is readying for a long conflict with the militant group ISIS in Syria and Iraq:
Ten weeks into its war against Islamic State extremists, the Pentagon is settling in for the long haul, short on big early successes but still banking on enlisting Syrians and Iraqis to fight the ground war so that U.S. troops won’t have to.
During his first media briefing on the military campaign against ISIS, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin reminded reporters the operation “to destroy ISIL will take time, and there will be occasional setbacks along the way.”
What he calls setbacks could mean anything from a great number of civilian casualties to actually defeat, which is highly probable considering the region’s most vulnerable and impacted groups are having a hard time pledging to actually fight ISIS, the group that has been terrorizing their villages, towns, and all of those living in them.
According to the Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, airstrikes are not going to do the trick alone. A command structure will be needed from now on to ensure the campaign against ISIS resembles anything close to a success.
If the U.S. does become involved in a long-term confrontation to wipe out ISIS from the Middle East, – the type of goal absolutely impossible to achieve – U.S. taxpayers would be on the hook for anything from $2.4 to $22 billion per year dedicated solely to the campaign.