As ISIS advances on U.S. personnel and Iraqi refugees, air strikes and humanitarian aid begins to help keep them away. However, in the eyes of retired Major General Lynn Hartsell, this could have been avoided.
"If you look back, at least indirectly, if not directly, perhaps a result of us not leaving some type of residual force there when we pulled out," Hartsell said.
The actions that U.S. forces are taking right now, according to Hartsell, may only be a temporary solution to the growing issues involving ISIS.
"If you can find the right situation and if you have the right intelligence and you have the right type of targets, air power can be very effective in certain situations, but it cannot do the job all by itself," Hartsell said.
To fully stall the growth of ISIS, Hartsell believes that ground troops will need to be involved, even though President Obama has stated openly that there will be no additional boots on the ground.
"You should always keep all of your military options on the table. You may not ever use them, but you should keep them on the table and you certainly shouldn't announce to the world, which includes your enemies, that you're not going to use some of the options," Hartsell said.
A coalition of countries, similar to the united front in Operation Desert Storm, is the ideal course of action that Hartsell says would end the ISIS threat once and for all.
"You're not going to negotiate with them. You're going to have to, basically, destroy their capability to wage war and destroy their capaebility to reconstitute once you've taken that current capability away. In simplest terms, that means to annihilate them," Hartsell said.
Hartsell says that ISIS is truly a global threat that, if left unchecked now, could lead to much larger issues for the U.S. and other countries in the future.