NEW YORK, October 14 (RIA Novosti) -Washington's war on Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria is based on moral outrage rather than strategic planning, Christian Emery, an international relations scholar, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
"The first stage of decision-making was driven not by careful calculation, but by moral outrage at the brazen atrocities of a group more extreme than al-Qaeda, in particular the beheading of Western hostages," said Emery, from Plymouth University in the UK.
According to Emery, the result of such an approach is that the "assessments of capabilities and threat were barely present at the conceptual stage. The strategy is instead the outgrowth of a moral, emotional logic."
Emery added that the "emotional transition" from inaction to military engagement was inadequately informed. "It still lacks a clear understanding of how IS has come to rule eight million Iraqis and Syrians, sometimes secured millions of dollars of funding a day, and exploited all manner of regional security weaknesses," Emery said.
US President Barack Obama will hold talks with his military commanders and defense officials of 20 Western and Middle Eastern countries outside Washington on Tuesday to boost cooperation among a disparate group of allies with conflicting agendas.
They meet against a gloomy backdrop of recent gains in northern Syria and Western Iraq by IS, a sectarian Sunni Muslim militia that is also known as ISIS and ISIL and controls swathes of Sunni-majority areas on either side of the Syria-Iraq border.
Obama says IS can be routed by US-led airstrikes and by bolstering a ground force of Kurds, Iraqis and moderate elements of Syria's opposition. Critics say he over-depends on air power, lacks reliable allies to act as ground troops and has no strategy for ending Syria's civil war.