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La Salle Professor: 'The Fall Of Ramadi Is A Serious Setback'

By Gary R'nel

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Dr. Michael Boyle, Associate Professor of Political Science at La Salle University, criticized the White House's handling of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and their process of building a coalition to confront the terror organization's amassing of territory.

Boyle told Gary R'Nel on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT the decision not to re-commit ground troops is more of political decision than a tactical one.


"The Obama Administration knows that if it was to send ground troops in, it would have a major controversy. It would get accused of bringing us back into a war with Iraq, which is unpopular among a lot of Democrats. The problem is that that as a political statement might work to satisfy the Democratic base, but it's not necessarily going to produce an effective victory on the battlefield in Iraq. The fall of Ramadi is a serious setback. ISIS isn't going anywhere. We have ground troops and ground advisers there. The administration, on some level, knows it can't send [more] ground troops. It doesn't want to incur that political cost. At the same time, it isn't giving us good answers as to how it's current strategy of just advisers is going to be effective."

He suggested that there is still confusion among the coalition partners in coordinating a response and as to who will control territory that is reclaimed.

"The bigger problem with the coalition argument that they make is the administration treats the fact that it has a coalition of forces bombing targets in Iraq as self evident success of the strategy. In fact, the bigger question is who holds the ground? So, if you use these air units to attack ISIS targets, push them back and re-capture ground, who captures the ground? Is it the Kurds? Is it the Iraqi army? And then, how do you rebuild the essential authority of the state?"

Boyle also predicted that terrorist organizations will renew their efforts for a successful attack against the West.

"ISIS, particularly now that we've attacked them in Iraq, will look to eventually try to do attacks in the United States and in Europe. There's already some evidence of people being inspired by ISIS for attacks in the United States. And the foreign fighter part is the most important part, because ISIS and Al-Qaeda, both of whom want to attack the United States, want people with Western passports. That foreign fighter flow is very dangerous. Those foreign fighters come into Iraq, they get training, they learn how to do explosives, and then they have passports that allow them to travel back to Western Europe and the United States."

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