US military & partner nation forces have begun striking ISIL targets in Syria using mix of fighters, bombers and Tomahawk missiles.
— Peter Cook (@PentagonPresSec) September 23, 2014
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.