Picture 2

Picture 2

Jun 15, 2015

Why Air Power Isn't Stopping ISIS

It’s fashionable in the past couple of months to say that air power is ineffective against ISIS.  The effectiveness of air power depends on the rules of engagement, which are set by the White House. The White House has decided that it's more important to avoid civilian casualties than it is to defeat ISIS. There is no way that ISIS should be able to move vehicles with troops and supplies on desert highways in the face of US total air dominance. The fact that ISIS is moving troops and supplies means that the rules of engagement are too restrictive to allow victory.
Given how many civilians ISIS kills when they take over an area, it seems to me that even in humanitarian terms restrictive rules of engagement are self-defeating. Even if attacking ISIS targets means some civilians will die, far more will die if ISIS is allowed to continue its rampage across the Middle East.
I think any vehicle convoy which includes military vehicles should be a free fire zone. Military vehicles should be defined to include armored vehicles, Humvees, pickup trucks with mounted machine guns, or civilian vehicles with a lot of gun barrels pointing out all of the windows. Even if these convoys contain civilian human shields, attacking them will prevent ISIS from killing a lot more people when they overrun the next town.
The same policy should be extended to bomb factories. If we know that ISIS has a lot of explosives in a residential neighborhood, we should still bomb the building. If ISIS uses the explosives to take another town, they will kill hundreds or thousands of civilians themselves. The casualty count will be a lot lower from the secondary explosion of the bomb factory.

In the long run, it's them or us. ISIS has made it clear they plan to attack us and kill us if we don't convert to their brand of Islam. We should take them at their word and stop them now, before they become an existential threat to the US. The leaders who did not believe Hitler meant what he said lived to regret it.

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