Putting the ISIS threat in perspective

There’s a parallel to al Qaeda here. Both Sunni groups leapt to prominence only after attacking the West with its own weapons. Al Qaeda did it with airliners; ISIS has done it with the intrepid journalists and aid workers they captured and then murdered. Their chosen tools highlight how impotent they actually are.

That became even more clear last week when the Pentagon released its first comprehensive accounting of the ISIS targets it has hit in its month-long series of more than 150 airstrikes.

The single largest category—88 of 212 individual targets, or 42%—is “armed vehicles.” Not “armored vehicles,” like a tank or personnel carrier, but civilian pickups with machine guns mounted in the rear. A pair of tanks and assorted other armor accounts for a scant 7% of the targets…

This is not an arsenal, but a ragtag collection, including gear the U.S. supplied to the Iraqi army, which ISIS seized after driving Iraqi forces from Mosul (the U.S. has attacked 37 ISIS Humvees built in Mishawaka, Ind.).