Hyperbole is not a Strategy

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Hyperbole is not a Strategy

Hyperbole is not a Strategy

December 18, 2015

While all the candidates on the Republican debate stage in Las Vegas criticized Democrats on national security issues, very few of them presented anything resembling a clear strategy for tackling the threats facing the United States. Instead, they substituted tough talk, threats, and fearmongering for strategy, showing that they know how to scare people, not solve problems.

Jeb Bush thinks we need “to destroy ISIS before it destroys us.”

  • By saying that, Jeb Bush showed that he has no idea what kind of threat ISIS is or how to combat it.

  • If every ISIS combatant assembled in one place, their roughly 30,000 fighters would be fewer than the total number of soldiers in a two U.S. Army divisions. ISIS also lacks an air force or a navy.

  • ISIS poses a real threat to the interests of the United States, but it doesn’t threaten our existence as a nation.

  • Nazi Germany and the USSR couldn’t destroy the United States; the idea that a ragtag group of irregular infantry a fraction of the size of one of our three branches of the military could “destroy us” is beyond belief.

  • It’s hard to believe that a man running to be commander in chief has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to a group he identifies as the gravest threat to America today.

Ted Cruz says he “will utterly destroy [ISIS] by targeting the bad guys.”

  • Cruz’s strategy to destroy ISIS is – literally – to tell the military to destroy ISIS. It’s as if he believes nobody in the Pentagon, CIA, or the U.S. Armed Forces has ever thought of “targeting the bad guys.”

  • In fact, “targeting the bad guys” is what the U.S.-led coalition has been doing for the past year and a half, launching over 9,000 air strikes against ISIS.

  • In Tuesday’s debate, Ted Cruz showed America that his understanding of strategy goes no deeper than “tough talk plus war crimes equals victory.”

John Kasich thinks that “frankly, it’s time that we punched the Russians in the nose.”

  • It’s not clear exactly what Gov. Kasich means, but, let’s assume he means he wants the United States to take some kind of military action against Russia, the geopolitical version of “punching them in the nose.”

  • The problem with taking military action against Russia is that they have nuclear weapons, and military escalation against them could bring us to the brink of nuclear Armageddon, as it did when Khruschev decided to “punch America in the nose” in the ‘60s by putting nuclear weapons in Cuba.

  • Like Bush, Cruz and many others on the debate stage, John Kasich showed that beyond tough talk he has no clear idea how to tackle the national security challenges facing America.

Photo Credit: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2015 Defending the American Dream Summit [Gage Skidmore, accessed 12/18/2015]

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