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No ground troops

| Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Is the much vaunted Islamic State merely a house of cards?

Much is made of the vast amount of territory ISIS controls. Yet the number of Islamic State fighting men is only 20,000 by the most generous estimate.

The Islamic State also is described as the wealthiest terror organization in the world after looting a billion dollars from captured banks. But soldiers need to be paid, clothed, fed, transported, trained, armed and provided with medical care. All things considered, that billion dollars is pocket change.

And fewer than a dozen U.S. airstrikes, so far, have rocked the so-called “caliphate” back on its terrorist heels.

What's more, the Islamic State is engaged against a veteran Syrian Army, the hand-bitten Kurds and an Iraqi army that alone outnumbers the terrorists by 10 to one.

American politicians who demand that the U.S. get more involved in this strictly Muslim nightmare deserve to be excoriated. The Iraq war, which began more than 10 years ago, was an aberration that opened Pandora's sectarian box. It was an inarguable mistake that proved deadly for nearly 4,500 American soldiers.

Shedding any more American blood in the sand will never redeem the chaos our own jingoistic politicians have fatally created.

Jim Harger

New Kensington

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