Administration tacitly admits that the air war against ISIS is not working

posted at 11:01 am on October 12, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Perhaps Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey did not intend to make the startling admissions he did when he appeared on ABC News on Sunday morning. Perhaps the chairman did not seek to confirm for the public that the Islamic State’s advance in Iraq has been more effective and wider spread than previously reported. Maybe he did not set out to corroborate the increasingly evident fact that the coalition air war against ISIS is failing to achieve its objectives. He probably did not want to do these things, but that is what he accomplished.

Reports broke late last weeks that the United States had dramatically shifted tactics in Iraq when they introduced Apache attack helicopters into that theater of operations. They were reportedly used in assaults on Islamic State mortar teams and other personnel near the city of Fallujah, according to a spokesman for Central Command. That infamous city lies 73 kilometers from Baghdad.

But, in his appearance on ABC, Dempsey said that those Apaches were used to stem an assault on Iraqi forces which were protecting a clear pathway to Baghdad’s airport.

“The tool that was immediately available was the Apache,” Dempsey told Raddatz. “This is the case where, you’re not going to wait till they’re climbing over the wall.

“They were within 20 or 25 kilometers,” he added.

“Of the Iraqi airport?” Raddatz clarified.

“Sure,” the chairman replied. “And, had they overrun the Iraqi unit, it was a straight shot to the airport. So, we’re not going to allow that to happen. We need that airport.”

The admission that Baghdad’s airport was under a direct threat of siege from the advancing ISIS fighters as much as a week ago, well before it became widely reported that the Islamic State was mounting a two-front assault in both northern Syria and in Iraq’s Anbar province, is significant. It had previously been reported that the Apaches deployed to Baghdad could be used to defend Baghdad and the infrastructure around that city, but this was the first time it has been confirmed that they were.

Secondly, Dempsey tacitly confirmed that America’s air-power-only strategy aimed at halting ISIS’s advance is failing. The flexibility demonstrated by coalition forces approving the use of close support platforms like Apaches which put U.S. service personnel in direct risk of taking fire from ISIS forces suggests that the American commitment to “no troops on the ground” is not as rigid as the president would have the public believe. That tactical elasticity is only good news because, apparently, ISIS has been laying the groundwork for a siege of Baghdad for far longer than was originally reported.

Today, reports indicate that ISIS is within walking distance of the center of the Iraqi capital. They are stationed 8 miles outside of Baghdad and, because many are armed with sophisticated surface-to-air MANPADs, the threat incoming and outgoing air traffic around Baghdad’s airport is already real and pressing.

Dempsey’s admissions on Sunday were clarifying and confirmed what many believed to be true about the ailing coalition air campaign against ISIS. Barack Obama could not have been happy with his Joint Chiefs chairman but, then again, it wouldn’t be the first time Dempsey has subtly undermined his boss’s determination to conduct a halfhearted war.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Actually it’s working as planned. That is it’s having very little if any effect.

bgibbs1000 on October 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Proving an Obama proclamation wrong is sooooo simple, just wait two weeks.

antipc on October 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM

But the plan was designed by the greatest military mind to ever occupy the WH! The same man who personally took out Bin Laden! It can’t be a failure. ISIS is just a bunch of racists who are purposely undermining Obama’s plan because he is black.

tdarrington on October 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Dempsey is hilarious. He said we don’t wait til they’re climbin’ the wall unlike Benghazi where they were climbin’ the wall.

Kissmygrits on October 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM

GM dead ISIS alive…new bumper sticker

newportmike on October 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Wonderful
/

cmsinaz on October 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

What is the surprise here? Every one but Obama new it would not work. ISIS is an ideology. Thru out history the only thing that can defeat and ideology is a more appealing ideology. The thugs of India have been around for nearly 600 years (they are an off shut of that peaceful religion). The best that the British and Indian government could do by force is to limit it. They could never stop it.

jpcpt03 on October 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM

If Dempsey and other top officers had ANY courage at all, they would publicly disagree with Obama and then resign. Note I said publicly disagree first, then resign. If you resign first, the media shuts you off.

BillCarson on October 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM

I, for one, am so very worried about the use of the name “Apache” and how it could be offensive a la “Redskins”…..

#sarcasm/

ted c on October 12, 2014 at 11:18 AM

What a complete waste of money. How much has this cost us?

MoreLiberty on October 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

well i really hope the apaches don’t get shot down with the stolen heat seakers isis inevitably stole when they raided every supply depot in Iraq

Pegcity on October 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Dempsey was clearly uncomfortable with the question, and that’s not a good sign. ISIS is “blending in” with the population, of course, which is why an air campaign alone will not work. There have to be boots on the ground, whether they’re indigenous or coalition, to fine-comb the area, unless they intend to nuke everything that moves.

paul1149 on October 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM

What a complete waste of money. How much has this cost us?

MoreLiberty on October 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Some tiny fraction of the cost of our welfare state, why?
You are seriously worried about money in a situation like this? Surreal.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 11:23 AM

It’s not and “air war”. It’s barely an “air snarky comment”.

Yeah, that’ll teach ’em.

Bat Chain Puller on October 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

and = an

Bat Chain Puller on October 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

There have to be boots on the ground, whether they’re indigenous or coalition, to fine-comb the area, unless they intend to nuke everything that moves.

paul1149 on October 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Well………………….

VegasRick on October 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

It’s not and “air war”. It’s barely an “air snarky comment”.

Yeah, that’ll teach ‘em.

Bat Chain Puller on October 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Just wait until they bust out the meanie hashtags!

VegasRick on October 12, 2014 at 11:32 AM

No kidding.

Obama doesn’t want it to work.

Totalitarians heart other totalitarians.

darwin on October 12, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Maybe he did not set out to corroborate the increasingly evident fact that the coalition air war against ISIS is failing to achieve its objectives.

this operation doesn’t even have a name…

The Operation That Shall Remain Nameless

ted c on October 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

“no troops on the ground”

Well, “technically” they’re not “on the ground”. They’re in helicopters.

Not to worry! King Barack only has to continue his phony war until November 5th.

GarandFan on October 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM

They must not have seen Barry’s speech on this topic. If they had, they would all be searching for 3 BR, 2.5 bath homes in the suburbs.

BobMbx on October 12, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Why are we not deploying A-10 Warthogs? They’re ugly, but they’re the most effective close ground support aircraft we have. They have terror-inducing armament and confidence-inducing “get home” ability.

They don’t get shot down. They get shot at, they get hit, and they fly back to base anyway.

In medieval terms, this weapon is like a chain mace. You typically don’t survive an assault from this weapons platform, and when it’s ready to be used again, it takes off and rains hell again.

We have hundreds of them. We should use them.

Conservative Mischief on October 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Why are we not deploying A-10 Warthogs?

I suspect Pentagon politics, but I can’t be sure.

They did announce they want to retire the A10. The pencil pushers surely can’t allow the A10 to show itself as being the most effective CAS aircraft we have, can they?

Sort of reminds me of the pre-Vietnam folly of, “Hey, we don’t need machine guns in fighters anymore, we have air to air missiles.”

reaganaut on October 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Why are we not deploying A-10 Warthogs?

They are being deployed.
http://www.stripes.com/news/islamic-state-fight-could-breathe-new-life-into-the-a-10-1.305147

Vince on October 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

#OperationDeathOfAThousandCuts.

Bmore on October 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM

It isn’t just Obama. It is the entire world and especially the nations of the Middle East including Turkey. Turkey won’t commit to supporting the Kurds, because they fear the establishment of a Kurdish nation.

SC.Charlie on October 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

because many are armed with sophisticated surface-to-air MANPADs

I wonder what the Libyan connection to at least some of these man carried SAMs might be? And the ships we allowed to travel from Tripoli to Turkey. Hmmmm.

ISIS has got to be laughing at our ineptness in helping to arm them so they can fight us.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

O’s only concern… the approaching mid term elections. He would give the Islamists the keys to America if he were allowed to preserve his lifestyle as-is.

MT on October 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

ah! the A10. Didn’t know much about them, didn’t care much. UNTILL one day I was on the ground and two A10’s came in for support. I have been in love ever since.

jpcpt03 on October 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Actually…depends on what outcome you are hoping for.

As far as Obama achieving his goals, I would say he is doing a fantastic job. The rest of the non-Muslim world…not so much.

trs on October 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I am still waiting for the anti-war movement of 2001-2009 to show up and tell Obama to stop waging war for oil or something.

Oh, right–it was never really the anti-war movement.

Just as the “anti-war movement” of the 1960s should really be called the “anti-draft movement”, so should the “anti-war movement of 2001-2009 be called the “anti-Bush movement”.

MidniteRambler on October 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

I suspect Pentagon politics, but I can’t be sure.

They did announce they want to retire the A10. The pencil pushers surely can’t allow the A10 to show itself as being the most effective CAS aircraft we have, can they?

Sort of reminds me of the pre-Vietnam folly of, “Hey, we don’t need machine guns in fighters anymore, we have air to air missiles.”

reaganaut on October 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Actually, they are deploying them — which serves two purposes.
First, it eeks a bit more effective hours out of airframes before they send them to the scrapyard. Second, the less time there is on the airframes, the easier it should be to convince congress to scrap them.
Keep in mind, though, that A-10s aren’t really allowed to use their guns unless they are confident that there are no air defenses present. They are just being used as slow F-16s.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

O’s only concern… the approaching mid term elections. He would give the Islamists the keys to America if he were allowed to preserve his lifestyle as-is.

MT on October 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

It really is sickening isn’t it. It is hard to imagine the layer of hell these people will reside in.

VegasRick on October 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Operations will end in November. Obama has no intention of keeping this up. They’ll run out there with stories of great success; how we turned ISIS back, degraded capabilities and decimated their leadership. The press will buy it, run with it, and then quietly let it die.

BKeyser on October 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

“we need that airport …”

Because how else will be able to get our people just before Baghdad falls?

PackerBronco on October 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

What a complete waste of money. How much has this cost us?

MoreLiberty on October 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

A smidgen.

bimmcorp on October 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Why are we not deploying A-10 Warthogs? They’re ugly, but they’re the most effective close ground support aircraft we have. They have terror-inducing armament and confidence-inducing “get home” ability.

They don’t get shot down. They get shot at, they get hit, and they fly back to base anyway.

In medieval terms, this weapon is like a chain mace. You typically don’t survive an assault from this weapons platform, and when it’s ready to be used again, it takes off and rains hell again.

We have hundreds of them. We should use them.

Conservative Mischief on October 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

They actually are about the least accurate platform we currently have for CAS, and their defenses are set up to increase survivability against mid-caliber anti-aircraft guns that precision guided weapons have mostly rendered obsolete. They have been upgraded to use some of the sensors available to strike aircraft like the F-16 and F-18, but don’t have as good of avionics, and thus don’t provide as good situational awareness. Helicopter gunships are more effective at providing air support in permissive environments, and the fast jets are better in non-permissive environments. That doesn’t make it useless, just less cost effective.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 12:33 PM

A smidgen.

bimmcorp on October 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

“Not even………………”

VegasRick on October 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM

O’s only concern… the approaching mid term elections. He would give the Islamists the keys to America if he were allowed to preserve his lifestyle as-is.

MT on October 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I doubt his lifestyle maters much to him, since he’s set for life regardless. He is an utopian leftist: what matters is pushing the country closer to communism by whatever means are at hand — and paying off all the various one-issue constituencies of the Democratic party to do so.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 12:39 PM

More Liberty what percentage of our budget goes to ALL foreign aid?

CW on October 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Tlaloc accidentally managed to get this one almost exactly right. From the “What’s In A Name” thread:
 

Operation Unskewed Poll
 
Tlaloc on October 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

rogerb on October 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

By the way, here is a rather long, but informative thread on the A-10:

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24483

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 12:49 PM

What air war? What has been going on, in both quantity and quality, does not make an air war. It’s not even been up to a JV level “air war”, not even a French JV level “air war”.

VorDaj on October 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Maybe he did not set out to corroborate the increasingly evident fact that the coalition air war against ISIS is failing to achieve its objectives.

Can we stop perpetuating the fiction that there was ever any objective to this operation beyond providing Obama and his party with air cover up to the elections? When you call the effort to beat back ISIS with air strikes a failure you implicitly suggest that there ever was such an effort, which is simply untrue.

jbspry on October 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

“we need that airport …”

Because how else will be able to get our people just before Baghdad falls?

PackerBronco on October 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

You are dead-on, my friend.

jbspry on October 12, 2014 at 1:02 PM

What a complete waste of money. How much has this cost us?

MoreLiberty on October 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

A drop in the bucket of the trillions of dollars Obama has pissed away on unions, illegal aliens, etc., over the past six years.

Obama illegally pays out billions of dollars a year providing food stamps to illegal aliens — despite the fact that the federal food stamp law explicitly makes illegal aliens ineligible to receive food stamps. Then there are the billions that the IRS admits to paying out each year in “tax credits” to low-income illegal aliens. And HHS admits that it pays out billions per year in prescription drug benefits to a few thousand illegal aliens. And then there are all the welfare, Medicaid, S-Chip, etc., payments to illegal aliens.

But yes, our real spending problem is this ISIS “war,” which is really not a war, but just a temporary bit of national security theater to get Obama past the next election.

AZCoyote on October 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Oct 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm Count to 10

I think he’s far more shallow than that. This man’s only real talent is lying. There is no leadership on him, towards any end. He’s a “me” puppet of the communist left.

MT on October 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The word OBAMA stands for
EPIC FAILURE
the way “Xerox” is a synonym for “copy”

Pelosi Schmelosi on October 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

This is your CiC

Schadenfreude on October 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

This ‘Air War’ as observed by others here is a non-serious effort on behalf of King Putt. General Ebola is acting along the lines of LBJ and McNamara … overseeing target lists and who gets ‘permission’ to do what. We recall, (know or should read and UNDERSTAND) just how THAT method of waging war turned out.
In this case, King Putt will put on a limited show, up and until the ballots are counted (or found in the trunks of cars in the case of Minnesota) after 5 November.
Here is how REAL WAR works. The political powers in charge come up with a STRATEGY. The strategy has a purpose or GOAL. They ask the MILITARY what they’ll need to accomplish said GOAL. The military replies with their lists and the political powers SUPPLY the COMPLETE needs of the MILITARY.
Then here comes the magic part (if it is done correctly): You wind up the military and you GET THE HELL OUT OF THEIR WAY!
While this WAR is being waged, the political powers formulate what shall be the END GAME after the MILITARY has done what they are designed, equipped and TRAINED to do: Kill the Enemy and Break EVERYTHING that supported the enemy’s resistance.
If it is done correctly our military can go from a peaceful standing to DESTROYING (SIMULTANEOUSLY) the TWO most powerful MILITARY POWERS on EARTH. See: Imperial Japan & National Socialist Germany.
Any questions?

Missilengr on October 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

That doesn’t make it useless, just less cost effective.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Because the cost effectiveness of what we are doing now is at max level?

You can look at cost effectiveness and you can just look at effectiveness. They are not mutually exclusive.

When there is no will to bear costs of a real fight in the first place then cost effectiveness is a very low priority by default.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

This was one of the first concerns I had when the knucklehead took office. When all you project to world leaders and terrorist groups are weakness and empty threats and promises to end the wars, why wouldn’t the enemy start building an army and invade? Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, is he? I wonder what Patton would have done if an American was beheaded on his watch, and all the gains our military had made over there were being lost to a bunch of psychopathic barbarians.

scalleywag on October 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

What a complete waste of money. How much has this cost us?

MoreLiberty on October 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

More than a billion dollars. Should inch towards three by the end of the month.

I don’t really understand what Rothman and the nuts in the peanuts gallery who supported the military intervention are trying to spin now. Boots on the ground? So multiply the cost of Iraq post surge by two because now we also have Syria to deal with? For how many years, forever? When the country is finally making progresses in terms of fiscal consolidation, with the first meaningful decline of the primary balance in 20 years, are we really going to bankrupt America because of some crazies inability to assess risk?

What they’ll never do is to admit they were wrong, even with reality slapping them on the face over and over.

What is the surprise here? Every one but Obama new it would not work. ISIS is an ideology. Thru out history the only thing that can defeat and ideology is a more appealing ideology. The thugs of India have been around for nearly 600 years (they are an off shut of that peaceful religion). The best that the British and Indian government could do by force is to limit it. They could never stop it.

jpcpt03 on October 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Everything is spot on except that “everyone but Obama knew it would not work”. Most people here, including the author of this post, were in support of the military action. Of course, now the excuse is that Obama is an incompetent military chief – as if Bush and Chenney were any better, or the corrupt idiots at the Pentagon were ever smart.

This is a long-term ideological war. Military operations like this are absolutely immaterial and a tremendous waste of resources that could be more efficiently applied somewhere else.

joana on October 12, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I wonder what the Libyan connection to at least some of these man carried SAMs might be? And the ships we allowed to travel from Tripoli to Turkey. Hmmmm.

ISIS has got to be laughing at our ineptness in helping to arm them so they can fight us.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

As if Libyans would export modern weaponry at this point.

There’s no need for conspiracy theories: most of that stuff was paid by American taxpayers and given to the Iraq army. They simply abandoned it to ISIS.

joana on October 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

well i really hope the apaches don’t get shot down with the stolen heat seakers isis inevitably stole when they raided every supply depot in Iraq

Pegcity on October 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM

More likely we gave them to them via the CIA operation in Benghazi.

bofh on October 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Obama is like a comic opera Commander-In-Chief.

With tragic results.

profitsbeard on October 12, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Because the cost effectiveness of what we are doing now is at max level?

You can look at cost effectiveness and you can just look at effectiveness. They are not mutually exclusive.

When there is no will to bear costs of a real fight in the first place then cost effectiveness is a very low priority by default.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Heh. No, I don’t expect much “effect” until we put boots on the ground. However, the Air Force has to do the best it can with the restrictions Obama puts on them in the short run, and the limits that Congress hands them in the long run.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 3:20 PM

I don’t really understand what Rothman and the nuts in the peanuts gallery who supported the military intervention are trying to spin now. Boots on the ground? So multiply the cost of Iraq post surge by two because now we also have Syria to deal with? For how many years, forever? When the country is finally making progresses in terms of fiscal consolidation, with the first meaningful decline of the primary balance in 20 years, are we really going to bankrupt America because of some crazies inability to assess risk?

joana on October 12, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Pay now, or pay later.
Actually, pay now, or pay now and later. With usurious interest.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2014 at 3:23 PM

When the Apaches land do the pilots take off their boots and walk around barefoot so there will be no boots on the ground?

agmartin on October 12, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Of course, now the excuse is that Obama is an incompetent military chief – as if Bush and Chenney were any better, or the corrupt idiots at the Pentagon were ever smart.

This is a long-term ideological war. Military operations like this are absolutely immaterial and a tremendous waste of resources that could be more efficiently applied somewhere else.

joana on October 12, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I wasn’t aware Bush and “Chenney” had any involvement in this ISIS matter. Didn’t they leave office in January of 2009? Apparently they’re still living rent-free in your head.

And exactly where else in the world right now could our military resources be “better utilized”? Controlling Tea Baggers in Texas?

Take your time!

Oh, and PS, what happened to Annie Kustard’s “double digit lead” in New Hampshire over Marilinda Garcia? Kustard’s now losing and her deficit is outside of the poll’s margin of error.

Del Dolemonte on October 12, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Several things to note:

(1) Obama is not fighting a “Air War”. A air war is not a few pin prick strikes.

(2) Until this nation accepts that the war is more than just ISIS & AQ, but is about Islamic Jihad than we are going to simply waste time and lives introducing ground forces in a major way. That is why I am still (yes still) against introducing ground troops in large numbers. I know that the McCain / Bush vision of Islam still has influence with elite Republicans, and I don’t want to see conservatives saddled with having to defend another democracy project in the Islamic world that turns into another sharia government, or simply falls apart no matter how long we stay there the second we leave. When 90% of Iraqi Muslims want Sharia Law, that means they will vote in Sharia Laws if given a democracy…do you want to be the political party defending sending American troops to prop up that kind of government when they vote to allow child brides, or stone women for getting raped, or behead a person for practicing “witchcraft”? Not to mention they will stab us in the back the first chance they get…because when given the vote they will support Jihad.

Republicans are going to have to get back to a realistic foriegn policy in that part of the world, which means supporting secular military governments, like we had with the Shah of Iran or Ataturk in Turkey. Today we have relatively safe governments in Jordan and in Egypt. We need to increase ties with them, and we need to dump Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, and Qatar. Why? They are not secular…and they support Jihad. Which means they are at war with us…

William Eaton on October 12, 2014 at 5:36 PM

The air war of 1992/93 was so decisive in Desert Storm that some were claiming that the Air Force could win wars by their own little lonesome. Not so.

Yeah USAF did a lot of damage and gained a lot of air time from such things as the highway of death, but without he army’s successful moves to the west of Kuwait, the highway of death would not have taken place.

Alas, Iraq was originally pacified by putting boots on the ground. You can’t fight an insurgency solely from the air, anymore than you could have won in France and Germany in 1944/45 solely from the air. In the end, the Air Force exists to support the Army in the field, even though the Air Force hates that fact and has fought against it since they went independent in ’47.

It’s going to take putting boots on the ground in Iraq again because the clown re-elected in ’12 was an utter incompetent and thought we could pull our people out and all would be well.

Reality once more bites the insane left.

Quartermaster on October 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Alas, Iraq was originally pacified by putting boots on the ground. You can’t fight an insurgency solely from the air, anymore than you could have won in France and Germany in 1944/45 solely from the air. In the end, the Air Force exists to support the Army in the field, even though the Air Force hates that fact and has fought against it since they went independent in ’47.

It’s going to take putting boots on the ground in Iraq again because the clown re-elected in ’12 was an utter incompetent and thought we could pull our people out and all would be well.

Reality once more bites the insane left.

Quartermaster on October 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Temporarily pacified…

As long as Islam is the religion of the locals, or at least Islam as it is currently practiced by a wide swath of the population in Iraq, we would need to keep US troops there forever. The Iraqi strategy was flawed from day one because Bush felt a lack of democracy was what caused “Terrorism”. He was wrong. Islamic dogma is the problem, and the majority of the Iraqi people want Sharia Law.

The place is going to have to be “secularized”, and that means a bloodbath of epic proportions. We would probably have to kill at least 25% of the population right off the top. I don’t think we have the stomach for that. That is why I support safe secular military governments in the Islamic world, because the Muslim populations there are not ready for democratic style governments. That way we don’t have to take blame for some of the draconian policies needed to keep the place pacified for a extended period of time, and that will be needed to bring the population up to a reasonably modern view of the world.

William Eaton on October 12, 2014 at 6:05 PM

That way we don’t have to take blame for some of the draconian policies needed to keep the place pacified for a extended period of time, and that will be needed to bring the population up to a reasonably modern view of the world.

William Eaton on October 12, 2014 at 6:05 PM

That’s why it was foolish to kill Saddam, and not put another strongman in power. They should have handed the keys to another guy with the advice, “don’t make us come back.”

Too much to expect good sense out of he GOPe, I guess.

Quartermaster on October 12, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Administration tacitly admits that the air war against ISIS is not working

Very little in foreign policy over the last, (estimating here, 130?) years has accomplished very much.

Seems to be a pattern here…I guess you could call consistent failure a “pattern”…dunno for sure.

It’s a given that this “administration” would screw up whatever they touch…largely because their public agenda simply is not their real, private agenda. But on the other hand, we’ve had previous administrations which we deem to be much more competent and still, failure. Yeah, Kissinger could kiss cobras, raise the dead and whatnot.

The “Evil Empire” is still around. Go ask the Ukrainians.

The “Axis of Evil” is still around. Whether it’s ISIS or Saddam in charge, they’re still despotic murderers. Iran hasn’t backed down from anything, neither has North Korea.

Afghanistan is still like it was…er, for the last 2000 years…who woulda thunkit?

The “War on Drugs” hasn’t done squat. Probably just a cover for pols to do their own drug and weapons deals on the side. Besides, the Afghan opium exports multiplied many times over once NATO got in there and brought some semblance of stability to those particular regions. Oddly enough, they weren’t too concerned about the rest of the “country” or the fact that the Taliban and Al Qaeda could run back and forth between Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. at will.

Rather reminiscent of the Viet Cong. At least the U.S. did try to do something about their supply bases in Cambodia and Laos. But then the Communists over here with their pals in the media raised enough hell to put an end to that. Remember Kent State? The U.S. had to leave not very long thereafter.

We’ve been taught that since at least the Spanish-American War, the U.S. of A. could right all wrongs around the world, bring everlasting peace, the blessings of Democracy, and thriving free enterprise to our cousins elsewhere in the world.

It would appear that other folks in other parts of the world have different ideas on how things ought to be. Therefore, perhaps we should leave them to their own devices?

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Honesty, for a change.

Nope. The only air campaign that was conducted was Mosul Dam and it was a success. The other sporadic strikes on targets of opportunity are pure politics. Not designed to succeed. I think there were 9 individual strikes in the entire Iraq/Syria theater today.

This is a whole new level of dishonesty, which the MSM is of course eating up.

forest on October 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Well, we’re back in Fallujah.

Code Pink? Medea?

lol

War is politics and nothing else to peace-freaks.

hawkdriver on October 12, 2014 at 9:54 PM

They admitted it by sending Rice out to say BO will “stay the course”.

ha_tspc on October 13, 2014 at 1:56 AM

Probably too late on this thread to get feedback from some of my favorite posters, but here goes.

I think Obama is playing rope-a-dope with Iran with the limited air strikes against ISIS. Make it look like the USA is fighting ISIS but actually letting them inch towards Baghdad. Let ISIS overrun Baghdad then Iran will have no choice but to engage ISIS.

This brilliant strategy will bring about Iraq-Iran war part 2 which we can string out like the first one in the 1980’s. I always thought that conflict was a win-win for us and would like to draw Iran into a long protracted war with ISIS. True, it would mean we wasted all those lives and treasure fighting for Iraq which is a national tragedy. However, since Obama has already fumbled the nascent Iraq democracy experiment, we might as well encourage another muslim-muslim conflict.

jadedad on October 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM