NPR Specials: Intelligence Squared UK - Defeating ISIS Means Western Boots On The Ground

34 minutes ago

This weekend on NPR Specials:

After the Paris attacks last November, the U.S. and its allies stepped up the bombing of ISIS targets, asserting that ISIS is no longer the unstoppable force it seemed to be a year ago. Ramadi was recently taken by Iraqi forces, declaring victory against the Islamic State group, and reports of ISIS supporters deserting the organization have been confirmed. That's why some experts believe deploying Western troops on the ground would finally annihilate the organization. General John Allen, Obama’s former special envoy to Syria, urges the West to deploy its troops to the ground, since the war against ISIS cannot be won just from air strikes or local forces. Once Western forces defeat ISIS using its ground troops, it can take proper control of security and start a diplomatic process of finding a long-term solution for the region. 

Others claim such a move would mean falling into a trap, one in which ISIS distracts and entangles the West in another war and boosts its drive to recruit jihadists across the world. Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, claims that even if ISIS were to be defeated, other violent militia groups are eagerly waiting to take its place. With no obvious solution in place to this complex crisis, experts are suggesting alternative options, such as depleting the organization of its funding and resources.

On this week’s show, Intelligence Squared UK debates whether deploying Western ground troops would diminish the threat of ISIS or if doing so would only encourage more supporters to join the group.

Defeating ISIS Means Western Boots On The Ground will air on Saturday, February 23rd at 19:00 and Monday, February 29th at 8:00.