Michael Totten here.
As to the shooting in Orlando, and our reaction:
‘So what’s the answer? The answer is that The Answer doesn’t exist.
We can start, though, by destroying the Islamic State. That would do a lot more good than preventing me from buying a gun, and it would do even more good than preventing my Kurdish friends from visiting Washington. ISIS can recruit and inspire people far more easily if it looks like it’s winning rather than losing. Even if it isn’t winning per se, if it simply looks durable and permanent, it can and does recruit and inspire people.’
Lone wolf or not, IS has leverage and is always seeking more (see Bataclan).
No, you can’t solve all the Middle East’s problems, but helping the Kurds where they live to recover territory currently controlled by IS isn’t a bad start.
Such action can create a platform for other Westerners in securing, defending and pursuing their interests. It also clearly sends a stronger message to Assad, to Erdogan, to the Quds and the Iranian proxies, to Moscow, to the Saudis, and those in power centers keeping a close eye on the situation: The Americans will pursue their interests in destabilizing IS, and will support some semblance of order reflecting those interests beyond current capabilities.
‘After months of negotiation, the United States finally gave the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – which is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and includes the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) – the green light to launch its offensive to take the Syrian town of Manbij, a key Islamic State (IS) stronghold northwest of Aleppo. The operation began on May 31, coming only after General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, visited both the Syrian Kurds on May 21 and Turkish officials on May 23 (ARAnews, May 22; Hurriyet, May 25).’
As previously posted
In his book Where The West Ends, Totten describes visiting Northern Iraq briefly as a tourist with a friend, and the general feeling of pro-Americanism in Kurdish Northern Iraq that generally one can only feel in Poland, parts of the former Yugoslavia etc.