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The Phony “Broad Coalition” Against ISIS

The U.S. has been suckered into taking on almost all of the work and the risks of the air campaign while its "partners" make token contributions.

Here is some news about our so-called partners from the “broad coalition” against ISIS:

U.S. allies in the fight against Islamic State extremists are withholding military capabilities as leverage on President Barack Obama to do more in Syria.

The story is referring here to Turkey, the UAE, and Morocco. We have known for some time that Turkey had set obnoxious conditions on their participation in the war. They didn’t want to get directly involved in the fight against ISIS if they could help it, and they have wanted to push the U.S. into attacking the Syrian regime. The UAE withdrew its forces from the fight after three months following the capture of the Jordanian pilot who was recently murdered so horribly by his ISIS captors, and Morocco has done the same along with them. According to the report, they will only return to the fight once the U.S. puts its personnel at greater risk by relocating its V-22s to northern Iraq to carry out faster rescue missions of downed pilots.

The administration would be extremely foolish to let this behavior by the part-time, conditional members of the “coalition” pressure it into decisions that will expose American forces to additional and unnecessary risks. The U.S. is already responsible for roughly four-fifths of the air campaign, and that will only increase as so-called partners refrain from taking part in the war. This should make it very clear that the U.S. has been suckered into taking on almost all of the work and the risks of the air campaign while its “partners” make token contributions or withhold their support in order to force the U.S. to do even more in a conflict that must be far more their concern than it could ever be ours.

It should remind us that the “broad coalition” against ISIS has always been much smaller and less impressive than advertised. The war against ISIS has been a largely American operation from the start, and it has only become more so over time. Here we see the consequences of “cheap-riding”: the U.S. mistakenly volunteers to address a regional security problem that poses no real threat to America, its regional partners do as little as they can get away with, and in some cases stop doing even that in order to get the U.S. to take additional risks on their behalf. No doubt these other governments would be happy to let the U.S. take care of their regional security problem for them while providing as little support as possible, but there is no reason why the U.S. should be willing to oblige them.



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