In a article filed this morning (Sunday, 8.21) by Barbara Starr, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, said he hopes the US-led coalition can “defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria in this next year.”

Townsend quickly qualified this ambitious-sounding agenda. “Do I think ISIS will be gone from Iraq and Syria [by the end of ’17]? No. But I want them out of the cities. I want them dead or on the run in a hole somewhere in the desert, and significantly less of a threat.”

I like that, the “dead or in a hole” part. This is how a strong military commander should talk about the enemy. What Townsend said doesn’t quite have the ring of “we’re not just gonna murder those lousy ISIS bastards…we’re going to use their living guts to grease the treads of our tanks,” but he’s on the right track.