Have we “degraded” ISIS?
Is Obama capable?
In September of 2014, President Obama addressed the nation and described the counterterrorism strategy that he claimed would be used to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS in the Middle East. Since then, the fight to destroy the Islamic State has encountered setbacks that have caused both seasoned military analysts and casual observers to question whether or not the Administration’s policy mandating the prevention of civilian casualties is an effective tactic to destroy an enemy whose strategy depends on the use of civilian infrastructure as a shield.
High-profile critics like Senator John McCain (R-AZ) have put Administration officials on defense, and yesterday, US Central Command air force leader Air Force Lt. Gen. John W. Hesterman III did his best to get out in front of the debate:
In a news conference he said was called to counter misconceptions about the use of air power in an unconventional war, Air Force Lt. Gen. John W. Hesterman III asserted Friday that pilots are killing more than 1,000 militants a month while avoiding civilian casualties and Iraqi government forces.
As the Islamic State has made territorial gains in Anbar province, including the capital Ramadi, critics have accused U.S. commanders of being too cautious, missing opportunities to kill the militants and disrupt their supply lines.
“The thought that we’re observing large numbers of Daesh terrorists and not killing them, anywhere, is fiction,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, which has defied nearly a year of daily U.S. airstrikes to maintain a hold on large swaths of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria.
“We kill them wherever we find them,” the general said.
So, are we failing? Was the air campaign a mistake?
Asked about the perception among many in Washington and elsewhere that a well-financed and adaptive Islamic State army is on the march in Iraq and Syria and that the U.S. military strategy is failing, Hesterman said the perception is based on a flawed notion of how air power should be used.
He said the bombing campaign should not be compared to past wars because the adversary is neither a state nor an established army.
“The comparison is not valid,” he said, adding, “This enemy wrapped itself around the civilian population before we even started.” The military has never had a blueprint for how to use airstrikes in such a setting. “With this enemy we have to be available 24/7 with coalition air power, differentiate them from the population and go after them every time we find them. It’s an order of magnitude more difficult than what we’ve done before.”
I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to tactical decisions, but much of this explanation fails to address overall concerns regarding what many are calling a “timid” response from the Administration to violence in the Middle East.
Former Department of Defense spokesman JD Gordon says what we’re all thinking—that it’s going to take a change of leadership in the White House to get the offensive back on track:
Today, Iraqi troops in Anbar beat back a series of attacks by ISIS militants, forcing the insurgents to retreat. Since the fall of Ramadi last month, Iraqi officials have stepped up requests for American weaponry, citing the ongoing struggle to retake territory seized by ISIS in Anbar and elsewhere.
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Here’s the deal…. destroy them with proven tactics. Force a Title IX system and Obamacare exchanges on them.
Piece of cake.
Yeah Anchovy “destroy them with proven tactics.”
Make Obama their leader!!!!!!!!!
So long as they are gaining territory, nothing effective is being done. The casualty count is immaterial — just a return to Vietnam body counting — what matters is actual results.
Start hitting their logistics. We have to be able to see who is buying their oil — set those trucks on fire. As bad as it would be for the civilians, cut the power in ISIS areas — they won’t be able to maintain logistics and communications.
Fight a war.
Is Obama capable?
You misspelled culpable.
Beat me to it.
No joke, either.
In all seriousness, body counts mean nothing when fighting an enemy that has potentially millions of adherents willing to fight. We are allowing them to occupy territory and gain both power and financing. Soon they will be able to purchase a nuclear weapon from a rogue state and they will not hesitate to use it, probably on us.
CULPABLE, maybe…capable, not really.
Unless we’re talking “Cloward-Piven” or such…
Obama is engaged in what I call ‘theatre of war’.
He doesn’t have any military objectives. He has no goals. He doesn’t care one bit what ISIS does.
He orders airstrikes and drone strikes because that’s what the polls tell him people want. So he’s killing terrorists for poll numbers, not because he thinks what he’s doing has any effect.
If the opinion of the US on terrorism were to switch, Obama would immediately and shamelessly embrace the ‘peaceful’ approach and cease all military activities. Because again, he has no military objectives, no goals, and no interest in curbing terrorism or the rise of a militant Islamic state.
Can’t agree with you. He does have a goal. And it’s treasonous:
Thought their alternate headline for that was better.
“Obama secretly backing Muslim Brotherhood”
‘President Obama and his administration continue to support the global Islamist militant group known the Muslim Brotherhood. A White House strategy document regards the group as a moderate alternative to more violent Islamist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
The policy of backing the Muslim Brotherhood is outlined in a secret directive called Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11. The directive was produced in 2011 and outlines administration support for political reform in the Middle East and North Africa, according to officials familiar with the classified study….
It’s a shame. They really need take their US education seriously:
Better question: ‘Is Obama willing?’
Hint: Two letters, word occurs naturally in alphabet.