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US War on Islamic State Remains Muddled, With High Potential for Blowback

Just one week after the US launched airstrikes against targets in Syria, President Obama said on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday that the US had underestimated the effectiveness and strength of the group of Sunni rebels calling itself the Islamic State. Mr. Obama echoed statements made earlier by National Intelligence Director James Clapper, and admitted that the US had also overestimated the strength of the Iraqi National Army.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner, speaking on ABC’s This Week insisted that the US needed to launch a ground war. He told host George Stephanopoulous, “We have no choice. These are barbarians. They intend to kill us. And if we don’t destroy them first, we’re gonna pay the price.”

A new poll by NBC News, Wall Street Journal and Annenberg, found that 72% of Americans believe that the US will eventually deploy ground troops. Forty five percent believe ground troops are necessary, while 37% do not. US strikes on Saturday near the town of Kobani, close to the Turkish border, claimed to have destroyed a building controlled by ISIS as well as two armored vehicles.

On Sunday the US said it had destroyed three makeshift oil refineries in Syria also controlled by ISIS. There are unconfirmed reports that a senior member of the Khorasan group, also on the US hit-list, was killed.

GUEST: Dahr Jamail, Independent Journalist, Author of several books including, “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq.” His latest book, co-authored with William Rivers Pitt is called The Mass Destruction of Iraq: The Disintegration of a Nation: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible