The Fayo Observer quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof on the change in the Obama administration’s military policy and action in Syria to combat ISIS:

Frederic Hof, Syria and ISIS expert for the Atlantic Council in Washington, agreed that Obama’s policy has moved from conventional, sustained ground combat operations and shifted power to special operations forces for high-value missions when appropriate.

“They are, to be sure, engaging in combat when deployed,” said Hof, a veteran who served as a captain at Fort Bragg in the ’70s. “They are, quite obviously, ‘boots on the ground.'”

Hof said special operations forces have been inserted into Syria at least twice before the raid at Hawijah – for a hostage attempt and to engage a key ISIL leader. Both operations involved “considerable lethality,” he said.

“So the policy seems to be one of no conventional, sustained ground combat operations by American forces, but using SOF for appropriate, high-value missions when indigenous alternatives either do not exist or require expert support,” he said.

He said the policy is justifiable. He questioned, however, whether the combination of coalition aircraft, indigenous ground forces and operations led by special operations forces could lead to a decisive result.

“I’m afraid not,” he said. “At least, not anytime soon.”

Read the full article here.

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