No American Boots on the Ground in the Middle East

America has spent the lives of too many of our military and our American treasure trying desperately to create functioning nation states in Iraq and Afghanistan with only minimal success. Religious and tribal wars are tearing the region apart with no end in sight. Added to this volatile mix is the latest terror group of ISIS. Seemingly out of nowhere, they came bursting out of Syria and attacked Iraq with unbelievable success as the Iraqi army melted away almost without putting up any real resistance. For the pass 10 plus years we’ve been training and equipping the Iraqi army only to witness it being overrun by ISIS, a group that is outnumbered and under gunned when compared to Iraq. It’s time that our leaders recognize that putting American troops in Middle Eastern countries, no matter what the reason, give many of these peoples and countries the opportunity to make us into the foreign invaders and rally radical groups against us. Our very presence gives them a common enemy to hate and destroy.
The solution for the Middle East must be found and applied by the peoples and countries of that region. The United States alone cannot solve their old and deep hatreds. Regarding ISIS, the roll that the United States must play now is to work to build a coalition of countries to destroy ISIS. The boots on the ground need to be Iraqi boots with support from coalition countries and include greater involvement of European countries. America needs to continue its intelligence gathering and aerial bombing. After 10 plus years relying on American welfare, it’s high time the Iraqis mobilize their ground forces to destroy ISIS. Determining how to handle the presence of ISIS in Syria should be done by the coalition.
Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer and a director of a human resources office in the Department of Defense. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. The book also explains how to deal with poor performing leaders before they cripple an organization.
For more information about Paul Okum and “Leadership DNA,” visit

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