The Temptation of Expanding US Military Involvement

The Temptation of Expanding US Military Involvement

The Temptation of Expanding US Military Involvement

Only a political effort involving countries and peoples in the region will defeat the Islamic State.


Hillary Clinton’s speech last week on the Islamic State at the Council on Foreign Relations has received more praise than parsing, benefiting from the contrast to the shameless fear-mongering of Republican presidential candidates. But sounding better than the cacophony coming out of the GOP ship of fools is a low bar. On the question of whether her strategy makes sense, the speech falls dramatically short.

Clinton pitched the speech as a more hawkish strategy than President Obama’s, calling for a “new phase” that would “intensify and broaden our efforts to smash the would-be caliphate.” More planes, more strikes, more targets, more support for the Kurds. More exhortation to our allies to join the cause. Praying for a new Sunni awakening.

In reality, much of her strategy continues the president’s. Like the Obama policy, it will fail because it ignores the limitations of the narrow American-led coalition Washington has assembled. As it fails, the pressures to add more US troops will grow. Clinton announced her opposition to returning “100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East,” but suggested she is open to adding to current forces if needed.

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Dear reader,

I hope you enjoyed the article you just read. It’s just one of the many deeply reported and boundary-pushing stories we publish every day at The Nation. In a time of continued erosion of our fundamental rights and urgent global struggles for peace, independent journalism is now more vital than ever.

As a Nation reader, you are likely an engaged progressive who is passionate about bold ideas. I know I can count on you to help sustain our mission-driven journalism.

This month, we’re kicking off an ambitious Summer Fundraising Campaign with the goal of raising $15,000. With your support, we can continue to produce the hard-hitting journalism you rely on to cut through the noise of conservative, corporate media. Please, donate today.

A better world is out there—and we need your support to reach it.


Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

Ad Policy