Wanted: Coherent strategy to defeat Islamic State and al-Qaeda

Could the young American female be the next IS victim? 

This will probably end up being a "tit-for-tat" proposition – at least for now.  It’s going to get ugly and accomplish little, at least in the near term.

But nevertheless, the world desperately has to see the essence of some stance being taken.  Unfortunately, the lesson learned (for some not learned...yet, and for others, refuse to learn...ever) from those nations that have been dealing with and fighting radical Islam over the course many years is that you cannot rationalize or talk with them.  It's abundantly clear they only understand force.  Want proof?  The Kurds proved that last week when they kicked IS out of Khobani.  But of course, IS and the other radical Islamists will just view their dead as martyrs moving on to enjoying their heavenly virgins. 

More apparent than ever, as I have been calling for and writing about for more than a year, is the desperate need for a strategic and coherent strategy encompassing all elements of national power, part of which involves a massive multi-national air and ground military campaign, first against the Islamic State (IS) and then against al-Qaeda.  This is the result of everything lost due to 6 years of Mr. Obama’s policy of erasing everything gained.  Sorry, that’s a fact.  That’s the way it is. 

The second strategic imperative is this.  During World War II, we accepted the loss of innocent civilians in the bombings to free Europe from Hitler’s Nazi Germany and its radical ideology of Nazi fascists and fascism.  We're going to have to accept this as a potential cost of ridding the world of the likes of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the vast array of elements of radical Islam and the ideology that feeds it.

So essentially, and unfortunately, it has come to this.  And as it has been said by many, but ignored by even more – the current policies or lack thereof would make the geopolitical situation worse.  It is now obvious.  To stop this visceral hate and destruction is going to be ugly, messy, and expensive – but it has to be done.  We cannot keep going on with the ruthless and chaotic brutal nonsense of radical Islamic terror spreading across the world.  It has got to be dealt with...it has to be stopped head-on now more than ever.  Enough is enough. 

The writer,  a retired USAF colonel, served for nearly 30 years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer, with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare.  He is the former deputy director for intelligence for U.S. Central Command, a former White House National Security Council staffer, and former distinguished senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C.  The writer lives in Tampa Bay, FL.