Morell: We Need an Awful Lot of Ground Troops to Defeat ISIS

Posted: Feb 05, 2015 7:40 AM

What can coalition force do to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS? “Not much,” according to former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell -- unless, of course, we send in 100,000 ground troops:

“That will simply does not exist here -- and it doesn’t exist in the other coalition countries.”

That’s an unexpectedly honest assessment of realities on the ground. Morell basically just said that the Islamic State is going to continue building its caliphate with impunity, and there’s precious little anyone, anywhere can do about it.

The two recommendations he gives for stopping ISIS -- eliminating its leadership from the skies, and sending in an army -- are exceedingly problematic for reasons he explains. The former is unlikely to prove successful (given how difficult it is to obtain reliable intelligence), and the latter is unlikely in the extreme.

For the time being, one could argue, there’s no realistic path to victory in sight. Nor, however, is there likely to be one anytime soon.