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Looking at photographs of the ruined, desolate streets of what was once Daesh's (ISIS) capital of Raqqa is a reminder of the overwhelming, pitilessly effective military power of the United States.The heaps of rubble in Raqqa that once housed terrorists and torturers convey a bedrock lesson, as valid now as in 1945: It's a mistake to provoke the U.S. It may take America a while to respond to a threat, but once the machine of U.S. power is engaged, it's relentless – so long as the political will exists to sustain it. The Raqqa campaign is a reminder, too, of something we rarely see in these divisive days – the continuity of U.S. commitments from the Obama administration to Trump. The U.S. military said little about this harsh campaign, but Syrian and Iraqi fighters saw it, and people go with a winner.First, the U.S. found committed allies.Obama never had a clear political strategy for creating a reformed, post-Daesh Syria and Iraq; neither does Trump.
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