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ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, are Muslims who have taken over large parts of northwestern Iraq and Syria. It is a terrorist group that wants to establish a pure Islamic State. Their goal is to get rid of disbelievers, and they often use violence. It was created after the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003. Nowadays, ISIS causes a lot of conflicts and casualties all over the world. In order to stop the spreading of terrorism, United States was finding solutions to defeat them. However, to get rid of them, people have different opinions about it. Should United States put boots on the ground to fight ISIS? Some people argue that if the U.S. only uses air power, ISIS will conceal in the cities and the U.S. might cause a lot of civilian casualties to kill the group and fighters. They think it is the most effective way is to send troops to defeat ISIS. On the other hand, some people have different opinions. They think it is not a necessary way to put boots on the ground, because it will lead to serious casualties, and might lead to further conflicts. Firstly, there are huge amount of soldiers in the past examples where United States send troops to the foreign country died in the conflict. Most importantly, even they defeat them successfully, they might get negative consequences.
If United States put boots on the ground, it will give easy targets to terrorists. In 1955, U.S. sent troops to fight North Vietnam, however, they failed and cause high amount of death. The United States involved in the conflict with high expectations, so this might cause disappointment to the consequences. The war also made a big division in politics in the country. For some Americans, they started to distrust the government officials, politicians, and the military. In 1975, the South Vietnam defenses were destroyed. Approximately 60 thousands of Americans were died in this war.
In addition, they sent troops to join a multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon in 1983. On October 23, suicide bombers attacked place they stayed. Including 220 marines, over 300 were killed. It was the worst death toll in a day that the U.S. military had suffered since the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. This showed that if the U.S. sends small and weak contingents, it might bring some troubles.
The other example is the Operation Iraqi Freedom, which started in March 2003, and ended in August 31, 2010. A total of 4,409 U.S. troops and 13 Defense Department civilians were killed, and 31,925 troops were injured. Even after combat operations ended and Operation New Dawn took place from September 2010 to December 2011, 66 U.S. troops were killed and 295 were wounded. Not only physical damages, there were also huge amount of the psychological damages to the U.S. soldiers.
Additionally, the intervention in Afghanistan was also a failure. The Taliban continued to grow, and increase the tempo of its military operations. This caused thousands death, which was a huge amount. “10 years of experience in the Middle East to show that limited ground forces don’t work, military action would set back rather than advance the political reconciliation, and it would be a disincentive to provide actual tools to promote long-term stability”. Sending troops to Iraq or Syria might cause high amount of casualties, which Americans want to avoid. The use of American troops would cause huge amount of death, the soldiers who fight for country would die in distant lands. Therefore, this will be the last option. Due to the high amount of casualties, United States should avoid and have other choice.
Moreover, sending troops to defeat ISIS will lead to larger conflict for a few reasons. If it leads to serious conflict, there will have bad consequences. During the occupation in Iraq in 2003, the United States removed people who had supported Saddam Hussein’s government their jobs. In the result, that made the Sunnis think that they don’t have place in the new Iraq. Because of the exclusion of the Sunnis, it contributed to a Sunni-led armed group which is like ISIS.
ISIS became a major player after United States left Iraq. Obama argued that if U.S. troops defeat ISIS, some new groups of extremists will likely rise up after U.S left. His solution to this was built local government and militaries, so they can control those terrorists. However, U.S. troops might stay there, which would begin the colonialism. ‘Unless the Iraqi government has the capacity to take the territory that’s been liberated and govern the territory in a way that’s acceptable to people living there, it won’t last,’ said Michael Eisenstadt, who is director of the military and security studies program. ‘They can’t send 20, 30 thousand people in, wrap it up in just a few months and live happily ever after, because the fundamental problems remain”. When they sent troops to fight with ISIS, they will try to destroy them. However, after destroying, the society might not be stable. The central government will need to stabilize the environment and economy, and also get everything back to the right track. To be able to do these, they need money. Iraq is unlikely to stabilize after ISIS is defeated in urban areas for some reasons. One of the reasons is the Kurdish force. Since the Kurdish force in the north was a powerful strength in defeating ISIS, they had higher status. The Iraqi government wanted the disputed territories returned, but the Kurds stated that they will not pull back from disputed territories or cede Kurd-occupied communities to the central government. Therefore, there might have civil conflicts between the Kurds and central government, which cause political instability. After defeating ISIS, The United States will need to face serious questions after the defeat of ISIS. Such as “Who will fill the spaces from which the ISIS is driven?” This leads to the conclusion, the defeat of the Islamic State will not end the involvement in Middle East conflicts and may in fact lead it to increase. Therefore, put boots on the ground to defeat ISIS is not an effective way, because it will lead to more serious conflicts, and some inevitable consequences.
In conclusion, United States should consider other effective ways to get rid of the problems that ISIS caused. To put boots on the ground is not the best way to solve the issues, because it will cause high amount of death and lead to further conflicts. Therefore, they should avoid these and stay away from bad consequences.
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