By Sal Bommarito
President Obama defended the tactics he is employing against ISIS in a New York Times article. His speech to personnel at a New Jersey military base was chock full of upbeat assessments and zero facts.
“The United States and its partners [have] undercut the momentum of Islamic extremists.” “Americans will not back down and in the end, ‘we will get you.’” “We have blunted the momentum . . . and put them on the defensive.” I certainly didn’t learn very much about the progress of the war from our leader’s comments.
Americans want to know how many ISIS murderers have been killed and how many are still fighting and slaughtering innocent bystanders. The president said, “This campaign in Iraq will take time.” How much time and how much money? What are U.S. forces doing that will eventually bring ISIS to its knees?
In previous Middle East wars, the Department of Defense gave frequent briefings showing fighter jets and bombers destroying enemy encampments and armed vehicles. The president seems to believe that Americans will accept his vacuous remarks and not ask for more details.
Another story in the same newspaper describes life on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. It unleashes jet fighters to ISIS territory several hundred miles away daily. Two comments in the piece were particularly curious. One was that “Iraqi troops talk by radio to American controllers at Iraqi command centers, who in turn talk to Navy pilots to help pinpoint what to hit.” How productive can the pilots be with such an ineffective procedure?
The answer to this question came a few paragraphs later. “Three out of every four [bombing] missions still return with their bombs for lack of approved targets.” U.S. planes are not dropping 75% of their ordinance because they are unable to find targets. It’s no wonder that the ISIS war is going no place fast.
Later a pilot was quoted, “It wasn’t going so well there for a while, but the momentum seems to have reversed.” What a confidence builder.
I think it’s time the U.S. decided whether it is going to try to win this war, or not. If America does not deploy ground forces and controllers to guide air strikes, we are not going to do very much damage to ISIS and it will persevere.
The ISIS story is getting lost among other things that are happening domestically and globally. America cannot afford to participate in this conflict if it does not do everything possible to kill the enemy, end hostilities and protect our country.