Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I am Skeptical About Airstrikes.

From General Dempsey:

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.
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.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Seven years ago, I posted a comment on this video.

We've had so little change, since.

And the plutocrats and war profiteers have had so many more dollars.

Vixen Strangely said...

@ifthethunderdontgetya While I have some tolerance for military interventionism if it seems to be needed, what I have no time for is being lied to regarding what we're fighting for and unrealistic happy talk about what to expect. I'm starting to think the mission of confronting ISIL is being blown up so people can support it, while mission-creep is already in the back-chatter. We will be accepting another multiple-front war on terror, only under other terms, if this goes on.

I still take ISIL seriously, and wish very bad things for them, but I don't know how much of a very bad thing we--the US, should try and be, here. I think I'd like it better if their push-back was from local forces and they lost ground because people just in general can't support scary narrow-minded fascist assholes.

I remain anti-scary narrow-minded fascist asshole, on general principles. My government's commitment to be anti-that has to honest, though. All I want is to have government principals discuss foreign policy to us like we're grown ups. They don't, even now.

mikey said...

Airstrikes won't 'work' by any honest definition of the term. 'Combat troops' won't work unless you're talking about at least a BGT or a division - this is an army operating over nearly 30,000 square miles. The Iraqi army is hollowed out by corruption and sectarian hatred, and will never be a sufficiently effective infantry force to roll ISIS back.

On the other side of the argument is the very strong political disincentive to another American military intervention in Iraq. We've been bombing and invading the place pretty much non stop for a quarter century, and it has only gotten worse and worse. Eventually somebody's going to notice that there doesn't seem to be a military solution.

The lying is about American interests - there are none. Iraq such as it exists today is a client state of Iran, and the IS is a huge ungoverned space. If American ground forces pushed ISIS back out of Iraq, how would that change anything about or for American interests? Of course, it would not.

Will we see some mission creep? I think you're right, that is the arc these things tend to follow. But it will be small scale - a 'drones & SEALs' campaign, and Obama will leave office with the geopolitical status pretty much what it is today.