Obama has a Bush rather than ISIS problem
They say that generals are always fighting the last war.
Let's change that to President Obama is fighting the last campaign, or his anti-war past. He does not seem to understand that things change or not everything is the Iraq War that he opposed. He shows no flexibility to react to something totally different than what he opposed as a candidate years ago. We remind him that this is 2015 not 2002, when he had the luxury of giving anti-war speeches because he wasn't in the U.S. Senate or the Oval Office, President Obama finally presented a resolution to fight ISIS. Let's give him credit for coming to Congress. It's always good when Congress is brought into the process as it was over going to war with Iraq in 1990-91 and 2002-03.
President Obama's resolution is a starting point but it is too much of political statement rather than a military plan, as Alexis Simendinger and James Arkin wrote:
"Obama’s draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force calls for a military campaign consisting of airstrikes and limited ground operations, but no large-scale invasions or occupation.
Unlike America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, authorization for U.S. military action against the Islamic State would be limited to three years, with “enduring offensive ground operations” prohibited."
This is a mistake for two reasons:
1) You don't tell ISIS that we are going to fight a limited war. Like it or not, ISIS does not see this conflict with the West as something limited. They are all in.
ISIS should expect that we will use every means at our disposal to defeat them and ground troops could be a part of the plan. I don't know of a serious person who is calling for another invasion or for nation building. At the same time, it is silly to assume that you can fight back ISIS without some kind of invasion and occupation of certain towns or regions.
2) This resolution is a political statement. President Obama does not want to be President Bush. He does not want to commit ground troops and draw the ire of the "hope and change" base.
Unfortunately, we are in this mess because President Obama played politics with the end of the Iraq War. He did not fight to keep a residual force. We left a hole and ISIS has filled it and rather violently.
The resolution is a starting point but it needs work.
Again, President Obama played politics and got into this mess. He should avoid politics to get us out of the current mess.