J.E.Dyer is the go to person for analysis on anything dealing with the military and geopolitical issues (just for starters), she’s sharp as a tack.
The simplest way to approach this criticism is by pointing out that ISIS isn’t a mere terrorist group, in the way Raddatz means. It’s a guerrilla insurgency that has the goal of achieving a lasting, territory-based political objective.
I’ve been emphasizing this since my very first post on ISIS in January 2014. And even aside from all other considerations, it’s why Cruz is right in his assessment that ISIS has to be attacked in some of the same ways we would attack a nation-state with a national army. It’s because ISIS acts like one.
This is Cruz’s unspoken premise, and it’s spot-on. Moreover, it’s actually good news that ISIS is a territorial phenomenon. A guerrilla force that occupies territory, and tries to politically administer and defend it, is easier to organize against than one (like Al Qaeda) that doesn’t. Attacking a force that has weapons depots and command headquarters and training camps (“troop formations”), and makes money off selling oil, and tries to control the local civil infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams) – that’s what we’re already trained and equipped to do.