END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (41 states)

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Off-Topic: GOP ISIS "Strategies" sound an awful lot like GOP "Obamacare Replacements"

I know nothing about the military, but I'll say this: For all the screaming and hollering by the Republican presidential candidates over everything that President Obama is supposedly doing wrong when it comes to battling ISIS (or ISIL, or Daesh, or whatever the hell their name is this week), according to this story out of the L.A. Times, it sounds an awful lot like every one of their plans pretty much consist of slight modifications to what the Obama administration is already doing:

From the intensity of their rhetoric, the candidates seeking to replace President Obama might sound like they have policies for combating the Islamic State militants that are dramatically different from his. So far, they don't.

At a news conference Monday, Obama made clear that in the aftermath of the Paris attacks that Islamic State claimed to mastermind, he intends to stick with his plans.

“The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work,” he said, speaking at the end of an international summit here. Though he repeated his pledge to “intensify” U.S. efforts, he rejected the idea that the U.S. should take dramatic new actions in the wake of the Paris attacks just to “look tough.”

The major candidates in both parties have called for airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq, providing arms to Kurdish and Arab militias and building coalitions with U.S. allies and regional partners, all of which the administration has been doing for more than a year.

It goes on to lay out slight differences here and there between the more (allegedly) "serious" candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, but that's about it.

Frankly, in many ways the "replacement" plans sound an awful lot like the "replacement" plans for the Affordable Care Act: They took 5 years or more to begin to resemble anything cohesive, and even then they're either absolute disasters from the get-go...or slight modifications of the current law under a different name.

Again, I know nothing about military strategy, but the gist of the piece seems to be that there are only three major ways this can be handled:

  • 1. Nuclear Weapons...which would slaughter countless millions of innocent people and instantly put the U.S. at war with the entire rest of the world.
  • 2. A Full-Scale Ground Invasion...which would put us right back where we started in Iraq/Afghanistan, likely kill thousands more U.S. soldiers, maim tens of thousands more and put us another trillion dollars or so in debt.
  • 3. Slight variances here and there on the current policy.

Most people finally "get" that invading Iraq was a terrible decision, and I'm very glad that we finally got the hell out. (Reminder to those who "blame" Obama for us leaving: That decision was made by the same President who invaded in the first place, by the way...George W. Bush.) However, some don't seem to understand that the secondary and tertiary consequences of that "mistake" will continue be felt for a generation or more to come.

We invaded Iraq 12 years ago; if we're very, very lucky, the dust might finally settle in another 12.