WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton's plan to destroy the Islamic State, announced last Thursday.
“The United States certainly needs a coherent plan on how to respond to the Islamic State. Unfortunately, Clinton’s plan is not it,” Independent Institute Center on Peace and Liberty Director Ivan Eland told Sputnik on Tuesday. “Most of it has already been rejected by US policy planners.”
Clinton’s suggestion of a no-fly zone over northern Syria was not original and had already been advocated by several hardline Republican candidates. President Barack Obama had already rejected it for several very good reasons, Eland pointed out.
“It would certainly lead to war with the existing government of Syria, whose own air defenses would have to be destroyed for it to work,” Eland observed.
Also, Russia is now active with its own air force in support of the Syrian army, so any potential conflict with Syria would also carry the very serious risk of war with a nuclear-armed Russia, Eland warned.
“Clinton would have to get the Russians to approve of her plan first and there seems no likelihood of that,” he noted.
“In other words, it would do exactly the opposite of what Clinton claimed,” he added.
Clinton does not seem to understand how previous US policies, including those she advocated as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, had encouraged the growth of the Islamic State, Eland argued.
“Clinton should have remembered and acknowledged that previous US interventions created al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State, and it was US policies over the past 12 years that fanned the flames of Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict that has allowed these vicious groups to flourish,” he concluded.
“Neither the United States nor France, nor any other major US ally, want to deploy any significant number of troops on the ground in Syria or Iraq: been there, done that,” he said.
Clinton should have acknowledged that the first major step in defeating the Islamic State and to diminish the terrorist threat, was to end the war in Syria and this requires consensual negotiation between all the involved parties, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognized, Lando maintained.
“That is also the only way to reduce the flood of refugees inundating Europe,” he said.
Clinton’s plan would ultimately pull significant numbers of US ground troops into Syria to implement it, and there was no popular support for such an initiative among the American people or their allies, Lando added.