Mideast must resolve its own disputes

Most of the discussion about eliminating the threat of the Islamic State is useless [“Frustrated by terrorism,” Letters, March 30]. Those advocating more troops and bombing will be misled by any seemingly successful military operation. However, it’s like Whack-A-Mole.

It reminds me of the thoughts I had during our Vietnam debacle in the 1960s. Specifically, you cannot win a war against an enemy that goes home at night. That axiom holds when thinking about ISIS and the Middle East.

Add that to the centuries-old hatred between Sunnis and Shiites. The solutions to this horror must be executed by the countries in the Middle East. The Saudis, Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians and others must resolve these problems. Their troops need to be on the ground. The Sunnis and Shiites must stop pointing their guns at each other.

This doesn’t preclude help from the United States and its allies. We should stand in the battles against terrorists, but only if there is a realistic prospect of success and only if we see a solid commitment to peace between the Sunnis and Shiites.

In the meantime, we will continue to waste our resources and goodwill until the local players figure it out.

Bill Kapelas

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