Once again, the United States is baffled by asymmetrical warfare in the Middle East.
While our military budget exceeds the rest of the world combined, our asymmetrical strategy to confront ISIS could be mistaken for a Saturday Night Live skit.
To "degrade and destroy" ISIS we will:
• Spend $50 million to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels. This is peanuts compared to our cost to train and arm the 250,000 strong Iraqi Army who fled at the first shot, abandoning their expensive American armaments to ISIS.
• Launch air strikes that will inevitably produce "collateral damage," (dead innocent civilians) thus increasing rage against America and Jihadist recruits.
• Form a coalition of allies to fight against ISIS. The coalition will exclude Iran and Syria, the only countries with the military capability and willingness to defeat ISIS. However, it may include those powers that were so critical to the success of George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing" such as Iceland, Mongolia, Tonga, Moldova, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Solomon Islands.
Both former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believe our asymmetrical fighting strategy will take years and is unlikely to defeat ISIS without putting some "boots on the ground."
So much for asymmetrical fighting strategies. What we need is a symmetrical fighting strategy. Remember there are only 15,000 to 30,000 ISIS fighters. At the low end of the estimate, they could not fill 15% of LSU's football stadium. At the high end, they equal the male population of Marysville, WA.
How should we confront 15,000 to 30,000 homicidal maniacs, thugs, thieves, felons, rapists and fanatics? Ask the New York City Police Force. Last year the NYPD dealt with 111,135 murders, rapes, robberies, felonious assaults, burglaries, and grand larcenies. The NYPD stopped and frisked 69,000 suspects in Brooklyn alone--in a single month, March 2012
Our symmetrical strategy is obvious. Send in the New York Police and arrest every member of ISIS. NYPD has 34,500 uniformed police officers, outnumbering ISIS by roughly two to one. Last year, NYPD made over 400,000 arrests. They could arrest every member of ISIS 15 to 20 times a year.
After arrests, we could exploit our international dominance of incarceration. We are number one in prisons, enjoying the world's highest documented incarceration rate. While the United States represents about 5 percent of the world's population, it houses around 25 percent of the world's prisoners.
So that's the symmetrical strategy. Arrest them. Lock them up. Throw away the key.
We could pursue an alternative symmetrical strategy: arm ISIS with nuclear weapons and allow them to establish an empire. Then we can bankrupt them by initiating another Star Wars arms race.
However, the "send-in-the-police" strategy is more cost effective. While the asymmetrical wars in Iraq and Afghanistan costs between $4 to $6 trillion, NYPD's annual budget is only $4.6 billion. With NYPD on board we could halve the defense budget, saving $320 billion annually.
Even better our conventional military would free to concentrate on their primary mission--deterring Russia from territorial aggression.
On second thought, maybe we would be better off the enlisting the LAPD as well as the NYPD.