The essay by Frederic Hill and Col. Sam Gardiner in The Sun ("Don't rule out boots on the ground," Sept. 18) confronted the inadequacy of the president's war strategy, but their claim that the president's "no boots on the ground" strategy sends a signal to militants to take up urban positions in the style of Hamas, though correct, is misguided.
Regional powers that have an interest in stopping ISIS have held back knowing that U.S. forces will eventually do all the heavy lifting. This includes Iran, Syria and Turkey, all of whom have a strong interest in opposing ISIS' expansion. If ISIS or any future militant groups are to be held back effectively, regional powers must have a stake.
Shiite and other militant groups have regrouped in the last month and are driving ISIS back from crucial footholds such as Mosul Dam with the aid of U.S. airstrikes alone. Committing to a strategy that will lead to the deaths of American soldiers when Turkish and Iranian soldiers should be the ones at risk is a fool's bet.
Jason M. Farrell, Baltimore
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