Brent Budowsky: The coming terror attacks
By Brent Budowsky
While the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) makes gains in the Middle East, the U.S., NATO nations and Arab League states refuse to take the aggressive actions that are long overdue.
As a result of the indecision and incompetence of the world’s response to the mass-murdering butchers who pose a threat to nations across the globe, there will almost certainly be multiple terror attacks during the coming year in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
The coming terror attacks will probably take the form of the Boston bombing or Fort Hood massacre multiplied in different communities in different nations. They could occur at any time, beginning today.
It is not a moment for partisan politics but bipartisan action in Washington and multilateral action on the global stage. It is absurd to believe that the war against ISIS can be won by bombing alone, and it is negligent for every nation to demand that someone else provide the troops that are urgently needed. Every lesson of military history teaches that at least 10,000 to 15,000 boots on the ground are needed in addition to Iraqi forces that are often unpaid and inadequate to accomplish the mission alone.
More direct and effective military support should be offered immediately to the Kurdish peshmerga who are fighting against ISIS with courage and tenacity.
I strongly and consistently opposed the Iraq War that was initiated by former President George W. Bush and would equally strongly oppose any similar large-scale military venture today. But with ISIS gaining strength and calling on followers through social media to launch terror attacks in multiple nations, there is an urgent need for multilateral action to destroy ISIS before ISIS succeeds in mass murdering more of us.
I have long proposed two alternatives that could accomplish the mission without undue sacrifice by fighting forces of any individual nation.
One: The U.S. could spearhead the creation of a rapid deployment special operations force of 15,000 troops equally divided between American troops, European troops and troops from Arab League nations.
Two: The U.S. and its allies could move in the United Nations General Assembly to create a multinational force under the United for Peace resolution similar to the one created during the Korean War.
It is not acceptable to fail to provide effective and sufficient ground troops. Nor is it acceptable to be dependent on Iranian-supported Shiite militia that wages sectarian conflict against Sunnis.
If my warning is proven correct, who will be blamed for the coming terror attacks?
President Obama will be blamed because of his aversion to the use of aggressive military force against an obvious threat. Both parties in Congress will be blamed for their inability to unify behind a coherent war powers resolution. Almost all presidential candidates will be blamed for their inability to advocate effective responses to prevent the coming terror attacks.
NATO leaders will be blamed, especially British Prime Minister David Cameron, who casually presides over Britain’s retreat from European and world leadership.
Governments throughout the Middle East will be blamed for constantly trying to draw the U.S. into taking sides in the endless carnage of its sectarian wars pitting Sunnis against Shiites.
International organizations, such as the United Nations and the Arab League, will be blamed for acting incoherently and ineffectively rather than accepting the leadership roles for which they were created.
The deadly threat from ISIS and similar terror groups is real and immediate. The response from NATO and Arab League nations, and from most Democrats and Republicans here, borders on a dereliction of duty compared to the barbarism and evil of these terrorists and the threat they pose to America and the world.
Obama, Congress, NATO leaders and Arab League members should take forceful and coordinated actions to prevent the terror attacks that are almost certainly coming soon.
Large-scale invasions of foreign forces on Mideast soil would be folly, doomed to fail, but ignoring the threat of mass-murdering butchers inciting killing in nations around the world is an equal folly that must be ended forcefully, here and now.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) I recently attended my son's graduation at West Point Military Academy.
2) There was plenty of security there, both to protect the graduates and the many attendees to the ceremonies. That included me.
3) I was proud to be an American.
4) That's just the way things are these days.