The Futility of Obama’s Air Campaign against ISIS.

In the wake of the heinous slaughter in Paris, the French have stepped up attacks on ISIS installations in Syria. The targeting information came from the US. That leads to the question of, wut, if we know where the targets are, why didn’t WE attack them? Because while Obama wants to act as if his campaign against ISIS is accomplishing anything, the administration has so hamstrung commanders that they cannot even pick the lowest hanging fruit on the target tree.

Targeting fuel trucks used to be off limits because of the civilians operating them, but shortly after the Paris terrorist attacks the rules of engagement changed. Before destroying the tankers the USAF, using F-15s, dropped information leaflets telling the drivers to scatter as an attack was imminent. To show the drivers that USAF was serious they had A-10’s conduct strafing runs close to the trucks an hour before the strikes.

Illicit oil sales are the prime source of ISIS funding. That makes the transports a legitimate infrastructure target. But for a year now, we’ve blithely let them operate unimpeded for fear of civilian casualties.

I’m not for indiscriminate bombing aimed merely at causing misery and mass casualties. But ignoring legitimate targets, targets that if destroyed can have a positive effect, is insane.

Given that two AC-130s and four A-10s were able to attrit about 10% of the available ISIS transport truck fleet overnight, even with the stupid restrictions imposed, tells you just how easy a target set these trucks are.

But they’ve been off limits all this time.

Because it’s not important to Obama. Literally, winning isn’t important.

17 thoughts on “The Futility of Obama’s Air Campaign against ISIS.”

  1. While I think it would be emotionally satisfying to bomb ISIS indiscriminately, the real question remains–what next? Who or what takes over? The Iraqi government? Their failure to include these Sunnis is one of the issues that led to ISIS expanding in the first place, as well as the civil war in Syria. Unless we’re prepared for a THIRD invasion of Iraq, and for the long-term garrisoning that stability requires, I think we’re going to have to satisfy ourselves with a limited air campaign and SF on the ground. Face it, no one likes this, but no one’s got a good answer, either.

    For all his many faults, Donald Rumsfeld asked the key question after the invasion of Iraq–is our presence and actions simply creating MORE jihadis? The answer is clearly yes. Sadly, the Baathists had this more or less in hand, at least in terms of creating an environment where religious conflict was almost impossible–with them gone or weakened, this is what you get. We should be taking out their fuel system and oil facilities, but when you do that, be ready for more Parises and Madrids. Eventually, I hope, some kind of stable government or regional force can take charge, but I don’t expect that until the Saudis and the Iranians feel threatened.

    1. So you talk yourself into doing nothing. Good plan. Evil will never thrive when the righteous do nothing. Bismarck was the Eisenkanzellor. Obama is the tapioca President.

    2. There are really only 2 choices

      Hunt them down and exterminate them , and put the forces in place to ensure stability until local forces can create the necessary infrastucture to maintain stability. No matter how damn long or inconvenient you find it.

      Choice two?
      Exterminate them
      ALL of them
      And by ALL, you get the drift, I am sure. Very nasty. Unpalatable. Send leftist scum screaming for their fainting couches. But unless the west gets its head and ass wired together, it is a more realistic outcome than people think. Because not everyone is the tiny little pustule who was irritated at being at maybe the 3rd press conference for real in his life today. There are those who would turn the launch-enable keys without a blink. And sleep like a baby after

    3. I need a button to add a hundred likes to your comment, KenH. I prefer choice 2. Way past time it occurred.

    4. There’s no such thing as bombing them “indiscriminately”. Any non-combatants who support them deserve death, and any those who don’t and are under their thumb are better off dead and killing them would be a profound act of mercy.

  2. From Walter at Wretchards place today:

    Walt Erickson


    Small blown glass objects have been discovered in Mesopotamia in five thousand year old strata. Glass making continued to be an art craft for thousands of years until the British invented rolled plate glass in the nineteenth century, and it is this Christian invention of rolled and float plate glass that is used in buildings throughout the Muslim world to this day. For this reason, and because the Muslims seem determined to remove all traces of Western culture, civilization and technology from the face of the Earth, I propose that we begin by taking away all their plate glass windows. For starters.

    I love the sound of breaking glass
    I love the smell of leaking gas
    The trembling Earth as missiles pass
    Their shadows casting shade
    I love to hear the screams and yells
    The sudden bursting of the shells
    As arty turns slums into hells
    And no ones hand is stayed
    I love how fiercely Mecca burns
    Medina, Riyadh wait their turns
    And in Damascus one soon learns
    The piper must be paid
    I love the way the broken glass
    Shines oh so brightly in the grass
    With none to say alack alas
    The corpse of Islam laid.


  3. These guys respond to stimuli. When things were going well for them, recruits flocked into Syria. Now, not so much. If we start making it even worse for them, the appeal will fade. We don’t have to hold ground (beyond what the Kurds want to keep). Lots of raiding I reckon. Don’t let them sleep well. So, yeah. There is more we can do even if we don’t want to govern Syria.

    PS. XBradtc, look out for me on WoW as Mercator_111 if you are still looking to form a division. You got me into it in a big way, damn you.

    1. Huh, never knew that our host was a big World of Warcraft player. Learn something new everyday 🙂

      (just kidding. I’ll have to check it out for myself, never really played any naval online games, time to fix that….)

  4. Why isn’t Obama bombing the ISIS owned oil fields or even Assad’s oil fields? Barack Obama does NOT want to make Putin & Iran mad while Assad is buying oil from ISIS therefore funding ISIS.

  5. Why isn’t Obama bombing the ISIS owned oil fields or even Assad’s oil fields? Barack Obama does NOT want to make Putin & Iran mad while Assad is buying oil from ISIS therefore funding ISIS..

  6. Does anyone read anything in context ?. The actual fucking speech :

    “What I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow in the abstract make America look tough. Or make me look tough.

    And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed and I see a 25 year old kid who is paralyzed or who has lost his limbs and some of those are people I’ve ordered into battle.

    And so I can’t afford to play some of the political games that others may. We’ll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it’s entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisers are better than the chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate.

    But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership, or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with, that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people. And to protect people in the region who are getting killed. And to protect our allies in people like France. I’m too busy for that”.

    Kind of different when we add context, hmmm?

    Dude, you’re getting played. And badly.

    ISIS (like Al-qaeda) uses terrorism as a tactic to drive a wedge between muslims and everybody else. Fox News joins in and accelerates the fear. You should know that Muslims are the one group that hate ISIS the most. The evil ISIS perpetrates causes american muslims’ mosques to be set on fire, their kids beaten up at school, passersby’s insulting them at every turn. ISIS regards muslims as apostates which in their eyes justifies beheading. ISIS may be the fifth cult. Look it up.

    The attack on 9/11 was by Saudi nationals. So we invaded Iraq. The attack on Paris was by French and Belgian nationals, so we refuse entry to Syrian refugees. Note the play about a Syrian passport on the corpse of on one of the terrorists. You’ve got to admit that was clever.

  7. There is no danger of anyone, ever, thinking of Obama as tough.
    When has he ever been to Walter Reed? I have never seen anything in the press about his going there, unlike President Bush.

    Tell me, how many mosques have been torched here in the US? Can you document any? Can you document large numbers of Moslem children being roughed up? I doubt it. Your self delusions are wearisome.

    Finally, clean up your mouth. Using foul language makes you look like you are incapable of conversing as an adult does. We are adults here, and conduct ourselves as such. Go buy a book of adjectives, study it, ad come back when you feel comfortable using English, rather than Hipster.

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