When the NYT headlines a story that we got a plan to “Cripple” the bad guys…. beware
If we have learned anything as American political or military actors – or as analysts – over the last 15 years, it is that headlines such as these are utterly misleading i.e. ones that seems to promise – or more passively just reiterate – a plan to “Cripple” a loose network of non-state actors that are fed by regional violence and hopelessness.
There will very likely be little “crippling” and more than likely a lot more “destabilizing”…. and still more ruined lives and states. [Although with headlines such as this, the Republican and interventionist response will only be amplified: Duh, we had a plan to cripple em…. so we got to DO IT!]
This is not to rule out intervention of course: but to pursue such a “plan” while the rest of the region is on fire – i.e. without immediately de-escalating the conflict in syria as a starter, and other regional wars which need political deals and decisions among states… well in the absence of these mitigation efforts, a US led assault is probably doomed to make things much worse.