As I consider President Obama's ISIS speech to the nation, I found it to be a political speech and not a military solution. If the mission is to destroy ISIS, the question we should all be asking is, "Why?" If it's a matter of national security, the president's solution makes little sense.
As a previous war-planning instructor at the Armed Forces Staff College, my opinion is the president's remarks violate conventional military strategic principles. Air power is only one element of a joint task force. Air power cannot hold terrain or eject the enemy from population centers. If the ground forces to be used are moderate rebels to be trained and a reconstructed Iraq Army, this will take months, if not years. Meanwhile ISIS continues to become stronger and more civilians are beheaded.
The president indicated that a coalition would be formed to combat ISIS. Apparently, he did not consult our allies. What ally will be willing to join a coalition headed by a leader considered to be weak, indecisive and heavily influenced by his political base and polls? So far, not many.
The president's willingness to prematurely declare victory and withdraw forces in Iraq has contributed to this situation.
DONALD HAVRE, Richland