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Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Destroy Islamic State Not Grounded in Reality

© AP Photo / Evan VucciDemocratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. - Sputnik International
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Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s plan announced last Thursday to defeat the Islamic State lacks any basis in reality, US experts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton's plan to destroy the Islamic State, announced last Thursday.

Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Alexandria, Virginia on October 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
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“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.

A man (C) identified in the subtitiles as Al Karar the Iraqi gestures as he speaks at an undisclosed location in this image taken from undated video footage released by Islamic State. Islamic State warned in the new video on November 16, 2015 that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington - Sputnik International
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Imposing a no-fly zone, Eland explained, would weaken the Syrian government and thereby relieve the growing pressure on the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, giving them a chance to recover the initiative they have recently lost thanks to Western and combined Russian-Syrian operations.

“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.

This undated image made available in the Islamic State's English-language magazine Dabiq, shows Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud - Sputnik International
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Former CBS news producer and author Barry Lando, an expert on Middle East terrorism, told Sputnik that the Clinton plan was a rehash of stale old ideas already tried or rejected as unworkable.

“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.

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