This is a pretty interesting read. To hear R politicians tell it, not only is ISIS about ready to jump out of your closet and slit your throat while simultaneously imposing Sharia law at your local 7-11, President Obama isn't doing a damn thing about it. The article shows otherwise.
Of course, the R talking points are all about scaring the shit out of people, and lying about the president, because what else is there for them to run on? (Surely not Drumpf's "new" health care plan, which is a rehash of boilerplate R ideas, based, among other insignificant things, on tax breaks for people to whom tax breaks are meaningless.) It's always been ridiculous on its face to consider ISIS some sort of existential threat, even if they pulled off the occasional isolated attack somewhere. Nevertheless, the article highlights the fact that not only is Obama not doing nothing, the somethings he's doing are pretty effective, given the complexities, and the fact that "boots on the ground" will make things worse, other than as a Trump/Cruz/Rubio demonstration of testosterone-fuelled superficiality. From the article:
... If ISIS is weaker, why haven’t the array of forces on the ground, particularly in Iraq, backed by dozens of daily airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, made more headway inten months? The U.S. goal is to “shrink the core of ISIS in both Iraq and Syria,” but that still seems a very long way off.
From where it was in the summer of 2014, ISIL has lost forty per cent of its territory in Iraq. It’s lost Tikrit, an iconic Sunni city. It lost Ramadi. It’s lost its connections between Mosul and Syria, losing Sinjar and a number of critical road connections. ISIL is increasingly shrinking. It takes time. It takes intelligence. It takes relationships. It takes ourselves getting established and reëstablishing networks, which we had to do...And as to finances:
... We assessed that ISIL was taking in about a billion dollars a year: five hundred million dollars in oil and gas and five hundred million in other forms of revenue—taxes, extortion, antiquities, kidnapping. You have to go at it two ways. In the latter pot, you have to take away their territory. In the former pot, we have to determine how they are getting oil out of the ground, how they are moving it around, where it is going, and then how we can effectively target that. It took a great deal of very hard, very detailed intelligence work about how this is all working. It’s not as easy as, “Oh, let’s just go out and bomb the trucks.” That’s not going to be effective. We really wanted to rip out the spine of their ability to generate revenue...It's a pretty good read. Not that there's no threat; still, as one who believes strongly that sending in troops, or carpet bombing, or "killing their families," as we hear from the nutjobs of the right, will only make things worse, it's reassuring.