France Can’t Defeat ISIS With Ground Troops Alone

After French President Francois Hollande declared war on the Islamic State, its first challenge will be to reconcile defeating the group with the feasibility of doing so. Though NATO-backed France has a large and powerful military with advanced equipment, the idea of putting boots on the ground conflicts with modern warfare and budgets, according to a report by Vice’s Ryan Faith.

Though France undoubtedly has the troop numbers to support traditional ground combat operations, the Islamic State is not a traditional enemy.

French troops may be able to take Raqqa, the Islamic State’s proclaimed capital, but holding it for a sustained period would be a lengthy, taxing operation that could require a coalition — likely backed by the U.S. military — instead.