U.S. needs to rethink “strategic patience” approach to defeating ISIS

When the U.S. began its military campaign against ISIS in 2014, Pentagon officials said the U.S. would take a patient approach to the situation since time was on their side.

Instead of an invasion, officials decided to approach the threat with methodical and incremental moves.

Last fall, Army General Lloyd Austin, who oversees the anti-ISIS campaign as the chief of U.S. Central Command, said, “We must maintain strategic patience going forward.” He also said, “The campaign to destroy ISIS will take time.”

Among other leaders, U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, hold a minute of silence for the victims of Paris attacks prior to a session of the G-20 summit, in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. The 2015 G-20 Leaders Summit is held near the Turkish Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya on Nov. 15-16, 2015. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Among other leaders, U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, hold a minute of silence for the victims of Paris attacks prior to a session of the G-20 summit, in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. The 2015 G-20 Leaders Summit is held near the Turkish Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya on Nov. 15-16, 2015. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

According to TIME, the recent wave of terrorist attacks around the world, including Friday’s attack in Paris and the destruction of a Russian plane flying over Egypt, will put the patience strategy to the test.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter called the Paris attacks “an assault on our common human dignity.” Carter also said, “As NATO allies, as leaders of the counter-[ISIS] coalition, as nations working shoulder to shoulder from West Africa to the Indian Ocean, the United States, and France, it will only strengthen our resolve.”

According to TIME, the key for the leaders of countries being targeted by ISIS is to accurately assess the threat and come up with a strategy to deal with it. After they have come up with a strategy, the next step is to convince their populations to support it.

Front row, from left, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Barack Obama, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose along with other world leaders for a family photo at the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged Sunday to redouble U.S. efforts to eliminate the Islamic State group and end the Syrian civil war that has fueled its rise, denouncing the extremist group's horrifying terror spree in Paris as "an attack on the civilized world." (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Front row, from left, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Barack Obama, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose along with other world leaders for a family photo at the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged Sunday to redouble U.S. efforts to eliminate the Islamic State group and end the Syrian civil war that has fueled its rise, denouncing the extremist group’s horrifying terror spree in Paris as “an attack on the civilized world.” (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, which claimed over 3,000 lives, there were still some terrorist attacks but they were on a smaller scale and far from Western targets. With the Russian plane explosion that killed 224 people two weeks ago and the Paris attacks that have claimed 125 lives so far, the terrorists seem to be gaining more confidence.

Due to the amount of money spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan war, the U.S. has been reluctant to get into another war.

Friday’s attacks in Paris have shown that ISIS is willing to bring the fight to the doorsteps of its enemies, which means that the U.S. government needs to rethink its “strategic patience” approach to defeating the terrorist group.

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