Boots on the ground

Illustration compiled by Drew Young | Reporter

Illustration compiled by Drew Young | Reporter

Pro: Ground troops needed against ISIS

Clara Brodeur

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda compete for influence over Islamist extremist groups around the world. Some experts believe ISIS may overtake al-Qaeda as the most influential group in this area globally, and so more troops should be sent in.

According to Barack Mendelsohn, a political scientist at Haverford College, al Qaeda Central (AQC) and ISIS have the same goal, but different ways of achieving them, and that is why they split apart. He has predicted that soon, ISIS will overtake al-Qaeda as the most influential group in that area and will become more difficult to overcome.

Because ISIS is expanding its territory, they are gaining more members either by force or the persons’ own willingness. ISIS has a number or 31,000 and will most likely grow in the three years estimated it will take to eliminate them without sending troops in.

According to as of Nov. 11, 56% of Americans are for sending in troops to fight and 44% are against it. Earlier in the month of Nov., it was estimated that an additional 60 terror groups have joined ISIS. There are already troops that are stationed in Iraq, but many citizens say they are not doing anything and that more need to be sent out.

ISIS is a group that expands and grows by others either voluntarily joining, or being forced to join. If more troops are not sent, or the troops that are there do not take action, the group will keep growing and will eventually be so massive it will take at least three times as long to stop them. Whereas, if we take care of it right now, it would not take nearly as long and less harm will come of it.

Con: More troops not necessary against ISIS

Drew Young

Risking the lives of our soldiers when it is not necessary is unjust; we must not send US ground troops to fight ISIS.

Our soldiers have always been respected and honored because of the sacrifices they make for our nation. The situations soldiers see and experience are with them for the rest of their lives.

Often, our soldiers don’t even make it home. But, with the advancement of our technology, we can save our soldiers lives.

More doesn’t mean better. The more troops we have on the ground, the larger the target we become for enemy attacks. Soldiers on the ground have far less protection from enemy combatants.

The Brown University Watson Institute for International Studies confirms that there have been more than 6,800 casualties during Operation Iraqi freedom from ground invasion alone.

Not only is sending ground troops dangerous, they’re not wanted. In a Sept. 17, 2014 interview with the Associated Press, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi states that: “Foreign ground troops are neither necessary nor wanted in the fight against ISIS.”

Air technology provides us a much safer and effective alternative.

These technologies are replaceable, while our soldiers lives are not.

In addition to classic airstrikes, our current air superiority includes the use of weaponized drones and unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies charts that U.S. drone strikes during Iraqi freedom have been highly effective, eliminating 2,647 militant leaders with minimal civilian casualties.

Finally, these technologies give us a higher vantage point. This allows us to be more effective in enemy targeting and damage assessment.

Airstrikes alone will not win the war against ISIS. As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated: “The only ground forces that will be effective in destroying ISIS are Kurdish forces and moderate Syrian Rebels. Our position in this war is a small part of a broad comprehensive strategy.”