Here's the complicated reason the US can't use ground troops against ISIS

On Sunday night, President Barack Obama addressed the nation in a major Oval Office speech to talk about threats facing the US, days after a shooting in San Berardino, California left 14 dead and 21 injured.

One of the shooters allegedly pledged her allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS on Facebook as the attack was unfolding.

Obama addressed the ongoing threat from ISIS and attempted to explain the US’s current strategy to counteract the group’s influence in the Middle East and across the world, including deploying special operations forces to Iraq and Syria, bombing ISIS targets, boosting intelligence-sharing with allies, supporting Iraqi and Syrian forces on the ground, and pursuing a political settlement to end the Syrian civil war.

One thing that Obama was adamant however was that US not commit to a “long and costly ground war in Iraq or Syria.” His reasoning: because that’s what ISIS wants.

Shortly after the speech, New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi tweet-stormed a response that further elucidated Obama’s point: a ground war is exactly what ISIS wants because it plays into their apocalyptic rhetoric.

Here’s Callimachi’s brilliant explanation of the mess that is the situation in Syria and Iraq:


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