U.S. Forces in Iraq and Syria

The United States recently made the decision to send more special operation forces into Iraq and Syria to aid in battling ISIS. These forces were granted the authority to capture and interrogate ISIS members for intelligence. Fox News and CNN’s coverage of the decision diverged on the ethics and efficacy of these tactics.

Fox news views the decision through a lens of national security—the article states that “capturing senior ISIS leaders would also be an important component of the new assault force’s mission to learn more about the group’s structure and any affiliates.” Fox News rationalizes the necessity to capture and interrogate terrorists as a national imperative without acknowledging the possibility of illegality in the decision. CNN, on the other hand, focuses more so on the morality of U.S. forces being granted this authority. The article states that “there is no current framework for where such individuals could be held and questioned…it’s not clear what happens to them.” CNN questions the ethics of this decision, arguing that laws and regulations on U.S. interrogation methods exist in somewhat murky water.

CNN also acknowledges the “concerns inside the Pentagon that Iranian backed militias inside Iraq and Syria could see the U.S. forces as intrusive and could start targeting them.” In contrast, Fox implies that the threat of ISIS is more serious than originally thought, encouraging the use of the interrogation tactics. The article cites General Joseph Dunford who stated that “ISIS had not been contained by the U.S.-led coalition, contrary to President Obama’s assessment earlier this month.”

While CNN’s article emphasized the dangers and ethics of U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, Fox’s article argued for the need of these forces and the granting of authority to capture and interrogate ISIS members as detrimental to national security.





I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of those who have not.

U.S. Forces in Iraq and Syria

One thought on “U.S. Forces in Iraq and Syria

  1. Hello Katie! Your contrast between Fox and CNN’s articles about international jurisdiction and interrogation is interesting. CNN using the “morality” frame vs. Fox using the “security” frame reminds me of the liberal verses conservative opinions about the Patriot Act. However, as of late, the liberal or moderate platform on either the Patriot Act or ISIS interrogation issues have not yet been fully disclosed. For example, have we heard Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sander’s official position on the issue of special forces interrogating ISIS members (or others) with any means necessary? I may have to look more into their responses, but its tougher to win a base for the “morality” frame. That is why CNN’s article is so interesting, even in light of recent acts of terror in Paris and Beirut and the Brussels lockdown, CNN continues to support ethical, legal methods of interrogation.

    In terms of Fox, their “security” frame makes sense for the Conservative base, as they are often overwhelmingly supportive of the Patriot Act, despise whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, and believe fighting terror with any means necessary (including interfering with fragile international affairs). It would be interesting to watch the Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress address the issue. President Obama, acting with the power of commander in chief, has been active in the fight against ISIS. CNN’s “morality” frame may be further alienated, or ultimately silenced, if the Democratic presidential candidates come out in support of President Obama. They seem to have more to lose, than to gain, from their platform, but I appreciate their effort. It is always important to question the foreign methods the U.S. use to fight war, otherwise we end up further isolating our mission in the Middle East and representing ourselves negatively internationally.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s