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Now that the US is expanding the war into Syria it seems ISIS is drifting out of focus. Another group, Khorasan, has been identified as a more direct threat to the United States. Khorasan is reportedly led by Muhsin al-Fadhli, a former member of Osama Bin Laden’s inner-circle who was intimately involved in 9/11. Director of National Intelligence Clapper has labeled Khorasan as much or a greater threat than ISIS and other intelligence experts told The New York Times the group poses a greater and more immediate danger to the US.

Regardless if any of that is true, what is clear is that America’s military and intelligence apparatus is getting ready for a long war in Syria. A war that – according to UN Ambassador Samantha Power – President Obama expects to take “several years.” So, to recap, the US is still in Afghanistan, back in Iraq and now entering Syria – America has really changed its Middle East strategy from the Bush years, hasn’t it?

POWER: The president is relying on military advise from Chairman Dempsey and from Secretary Hagel. They believe that the strategy the president has laid out can be successful in degrading and destroying ISIL. And there are troops on the ground, there are Iraqi troops, there are Kurdish troops, there are Syrian troops who have been fighting ISIL at great expense and great sacrifice; fighting on two fronts, fighting ISIL on the one hand and the regime on the other. So, we think again the strategy can succeed, and most importantly that we have the greatest military in the world, they believe that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How long will this take?

POWER: I think the president has said it will be over several years.

If the president is relying on military advice from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey then is he going to follow Dempsey’s advise and prepare to put in ground troops? General Dempsey is not the only one pushing ground troops as a necessary part of any strategy in Syria that targets ISIS. Numerous other analysts believe ground troops are necessary if the goal is to destroy ISIS – including President Obama’s former Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.

So here we are, again, chasing mirages in the deserts of the Middle East with no end in sight. But the president has promised no US ground troops will be involved beyond the 1000 he has already sent. Instead, the US will train and equip local forces to fight for our supposed security interests – you know like the Iraqi army.

You could call the wars of the last decade an expensive lesson except that – after wasting trillions of dollars and piling up hundreds of thousands of bodies – no one in DC appears to have learned anything.

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.