Military advisers should be embedded to fight Islamic State, according to think tank

In this Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 photo, an Iraqi Army soldier takes a break during the fight against Islamic State group in the eastern suburbs of Ramadi, Anbar province, Iraq. The contested Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to the Islamic State group on May 17, as Iraqi forces abandoned their weapons and armored vehicles to flee the provincial capital in a major loss despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes. (AP Photo)

According to a policy brief Thursday, the U.S. should insert advisers at the battalion level in Iraq.

The think tank brief also suggested arming the Kurdish militias and Sunni tribal fighters. The Obama administration’s efforts to hinder the Islamic State are “not adequate to the task.”

“In the 11 months since President Barack Obama committed the United States to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ ISIS, the group has expanded its international reach, metastasized to form offshoots across multiple regions, and increased its perceived momentum,” the brief states.

According to the Washington Times, the policy brief was co-written by the president and the CEO of the Center for a New American Security, Richard Fontaine and Michele Flournoy. Flournoy is also a former senior Pentagon official and was once considered as a potential Defense Secretary nominee.

“Although U.S. government officials cite a reduction in the overall size of [ISIS’] sanctuary in Iraq and Syria and the killing of  thousands of ISIS fighters, the fall of Ramadi and much of Anbar province to the Islamic State served as a wake up call,” Fontaine and Flournoy wrote.

“The threat posed by the terrorist group to Americans at home and abroad appears to be growing, as ISIS-inspired individuals conduct attacks targeting Westerners around the globe, including here in the United States,” Fontaine and Flournoy wrote, “And the U.S. Intelligence community reportedly assesses that despite almost a year of airstrikes, the Islamic State remains no weaker and no smaller in number than it was a the campaign’s outset.”

Fontaine has worked at the State Department and National Security Council and is considered a Republican insider. He also served as a senior adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain prior to his current presidency at CNAS.

Flornoy was Undersecretary of Defense for policy in the Obama administration between 2009 and 2012, according to the Washington Times.

Other recommendations contained in the report are intensifying the diplomatic effort, increasing aid to the Syrian opposition, and facilitating a political solution in Syria.

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