We’re getting myopic again – with Syria. A lot of conversation has been focused on Syria and boots on the ground, and its meaning. I choose to believe it’s a code word for a formal occupation and declaration of war. Those sort of boots are unlikely. But more important than that – is while the foreign policy discussion is reacting to events in Syria we’re overlooking Iraq and Afghanistan. Both are still strategic efforts. In Iraq, the ISOF is a lion waiting to be unleashed.

Iraq is part of the Syrian solution. The Kurds to the Northwest and the Iraqi central government and their forces are the strongest force that could be enabled in this fight. The Iraqi Special Operations Forces have found success and serve as the final line of defense in Baghdad. They’ve defeated ISIS on the battlefield and liberated besieged areas. They’re competent, and they’re motivated. Best of all, they’re our friends, and most of them are a lot like you and me. They’re non-sectarian warriors who can make Mesopotamia great again. They’re one of our biggest foreign policy achievements. Because they don’t just work, they win. They’re FID (Foreign Internal Defense) done right.

At this point, what does it harm to pick winners and losers? It’s clear, on the battlefield, the ISOF, and the Kurds get it done. We can show our ability to work with others by teaming up with both the Iraqis and the Kurds to eliminate a common enemy. Restoring camaraderie and good relations between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government. Possibly paving the way for a semi-autonomous Kurdish state that is part of a central government.

Part of what’s being fought for in Syria and serves as an undercurrent is access to the Mediterranean Sea and Lebanon to both Russia and Iran. It is vital for Iran to have a Syrian client state. Iran needs its access to both Lebanon and the Mediterranean sea. Syria evens the playing field in their cold war with Saudi Arabia.