Don't take it from me, folks, take it from the former Army Chief of Staff who is no longer held hostage by King Hussein:
Crushing the Islamic State is impossible without boots on the ground, former Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno says....
"I get frustrated on this thing about 'no boots on the ground.' Well, we have boots on the ground. They're special operations forces, there are soldiers, and I think we have to have a short-term plan which allows our people to get on the ground."
"You can't defeat ISIS, or destroy ISIS without having people on the ground."
"The intelligence we're missing is the intelligence you gain on the ground. We need unit intelligence," he added.
"Special ops can only do so much," he said of U.S. forces already in place. "Let the people on the ground tell you 'this is what we need.'"
Air strikes alone won't reign in the Islamic jihadists, he argues.
"It's not going to happen, it's never happened in history, it's not going to happen now," he said.
If the most recent top professional soldier in the country tells you what any military historian will echo, perhaps more Americans, to say nothing of Republican presidential candidates, would do well to listen and pay attention. Barack Obama and the Democrats never will, so I'm not even bothering with them.
We all know how the war with Islamic Fundamentalism works, because we've been through this cycle before: If we don't fight them "over there," they will slaughter us "over here". We didn't fight al Qaeda "over there" during the Clinton detour, and they hit us "over here" on 9/11/01. We took the fight to them "over there" and we were not hit again "over here" until the advent of the Obamidency, when we stopped fighting them "over there" and they resumed hitting us "over here" again, of which San Bernardino last week was simply the most recent example, but far from the last.
There has never been any such thing as winning a war "on the cheap," and there never will be. Any attempt to do so can only result in bigger and more terrible war, on the enemy's initiative and timetable, with more of the casualties on our side. That is the lesson of history that nobody wants to learn. But reality is going to teach it to us anyway.
Hopefully we'll live to forget it again.