The Syrian Campaign

Well, there you go.

Mind you, especially with the Tomahawk strikes, this looks like “wave 1” if you will, targeting those fixed or semi-fixed air defense, command and control, and troop concentrations our intelligence has been able to suss out. How well they’ve done in finding remunerative targets is unknown.

Here’s the thing about airpower. It’s firepower without persistence. It has an incredible capability bring large amounts of destruction in a very short time. And it’s that short time that is the problem. It cannot maintain that level of pain for very long.

Further, the return in investment in the use of airpower is highest against concentrated targets. Very quickly, any opponent that cannot challenge our dominance of the skies learns to disperse his assets. That vastly reduces the effectiveness of airstrikes. We’ve been trying to bomb deployed forces into submission since the Italian campaign. We’ve yet to succeed.

8 thoughts on “The Syrian Campaign”

  1. Ah, but this time it’s The Light Worker ordering the strikes, and That makes all the difference!

  2. According to the crappy paper I wrote in high school, complete with faked quotes and bogus sourcing, air power alone can win a war. In the intervening 28 years, I have since changed my opinion… It can’t win, but it sure can wreck the opponent’s day for him.

    1. True, but if you don’t telegraph that you are coming, and allow your opponent months to disperse, etc, then those opening blows can be pretty hard hitting, especially in a permissive environment. Make no mistake; I am not advocating solely an air campaign. Costs in dollars per EKIA are high, but I am saying that a JDAM punching through a roof-top unannounced in the dead of night is pretty powerful. Night after night… I’ve got no problems with killing by any available ordnance, by any means of delivery.

  3. ISIS could be beaten by airpower alone, but it wont be, we wouldnt be prepared to inflict the collateral damage.
    When Bomber Harris tried to terror bomb the German populace in to submission, 20% of bombs “hit” within a CEP of 5, miles.
    Thats aiming for Manhatten, hitting St George.

    “Very quickly, any opponent that cannot challenge our dominance of the skies learns to disperse his assets. That vastly reduces the effectiveness of airstrikes.”
    It reduces the effectiveness of the ground troops too
    Wildly so.

    If ISIS cant move freely, Assads forces are going to have a much easier time holding ground, maybe even retaking it.

    1. It imposes and command and control burden on ISIS ground forces. They need to be able to mass quickly to strike, and then quickly disperse. That takes C&C.

      But they don’t have to disperse much at all to greatly degrade the effectiveness of airpower.

  4. So, 100 TLAMs out the tubes. 40 of them to strike a group that nobody has ever heard of before this, called “Khorasan”.
    A group composed of 50 guys.
    At $1.5 million each, TLAMs which will NOT be replaced.
    Why are we wasting TLAMs?
    Would JDAMs not kill them for much less?
    The SCoaMF has ordered the TLAM and Hellfire production lines shut-down.
    This is a “Goat Rope”, pure & simple…

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