I think the public is already being softened up for the idea of a ground war. Logically, bombing a an urban area is merely destructive and deadly to civilians as well as to the intended targets. We were told there would not be "boots on the ground". But the steel-trap logic of war (or illogic) is to do what it takes. Or so we get told. Eventually.Already, Mr. Obama’s policy has been tested by his commanders. General Dempsey said Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who oversees the Central Command, had recommended putting Special Operations troops on the ground to direct airstrikes during a recent campaign by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake the Mosul Dam from the extremist militants.Mr. Obama rejected that recommendation, and General Dempsey said the United States used technology — a drone known as a Rover — to compensate for not having its own advisers on the ground. The American advisers remained in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.The challenge will come, General Dempsey said, when Iraqi and Kurdish forces try to drive the militants out of densely populated urban areas like Mosul. In those cases, General Dempsey said, he might recommend deploying Special Operations troops to provide what he called “close combat advising,” essentially working alongside Iraqi commanders in the field and helping them direct their troops to targets.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I am Skeptical About Airstrikes.