Skip to comments.Conducting U.S. airstrikes in Iraq would be complicated, former military officers say
Posted on 06/19/2014 11:50:47 AM PDT by mojito
The Defense Department has enough forces in the Persian Gulf to conduct airstrikes that would probably prevent Sunni insurgents from marching into Baghdad, but other missions would be far more complex and risk drawing the United States back into an Iraqi civil war, according to retired military commanders.
The Pentagon announced that the USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock ship, had arrived in the gulf on Monday to join an aircraft carrier, a destroyer and a guided-missile cruiser. Together, the warships carry a large number of fighter jets and search-and-rescue aircraft, along with Tomahawk cruise missiles and other ordnance, that would give President Obama an assortment of tactical options should he decide to take military action in Iraq.
The Pentagons ability to deploy drones to conduct surveillance and carry out airstrikes a move endorsed by many in Congress may be limited. The U.S. military has Predator and Reaper drones at several bases in the region but would have to get permission from reluctant host countries to use them in Iraq.
Targeting fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) would not be difficult if they continue to advance toward Baghdad along highways and other visible routes, the former military commanders said. But airstrikes would become far more complicated if the insurgents stay within the cities they have taken control of in recent weeks, raising the likelihood of civilian casualties.
Without forces on the ground to verify that U.S. airstrikes had hit legitimate military targets, the United States would become more vulnerable to enemy propaganda about mass civilian casualties, said Gary Roughead, a retired four-star admiral and chief of naval operations from 2007 to 2011.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
This WaPo story from a couple of days ago indicates that some ground forces are necessary to conduct effective airstrikes; hence, no ground forces, no airstrikes.
shock n awe is just not an Obama thing...
Obama would no problem with a lot of shock n awe on US citizens
But shuck and jive is!
Neither is committing to a course of action.
Now “dithering” and “prevaricating” - those are Barry at his best.
Airstrikes aren't combat?
Yeah, you'd have to identify an ISIS convoy, laze the target and press the pickle button.
That's pretty complicated.
Or are they carrying missiles from Libya?
I don’t understand? Do we not see these people approaching the refinery? Bagdhad? Any other rag road they may be on??
What’s so hard about a strafing run? A good old fashioned AC-130 obliterating anything squirming.
Send a note: if you’re friendly, GET OUT. Anyone still there gets vaporized. I’m so over the muzzies.
Friendly fire??? I see no friends.....
Just more word-parsing from the Obama administration.
Don’t worry - it will work on liberal idiots and fools.
We have 1000x times the capabilities now that we did then.
The ISIS al-qaeda insurgents would not stand a chance if our military decided to get serious with them.
Does Congress no longer have the responsibility to approve military actions against another country?
Remember Benghazi? Stinger missiles to Syria?
AC130 against our technology (stingers) is not a good bet.
This admin is corrupt and inept.
Have you been watching the news lately? Most of the Republicans in Congress seem pissed that we aren't in combat in Iraq.
They can require authorization from congress. And, since this will be pin-prick strikes with no end-game strategy, the whole discussion stinks of waste and tragedy.
If we do not intend to occupy and slaughter Iraqis until they beg us to stop and will agree to unconditional surrender, well, it is just another meatgrinder to put our sons and daughters into.
Let them kill each other. Saves us the effort and expense. I don’t care, I really don’t.
How about this, protect our own borders and let the Satanists worry about theirs.
Exactly. How hard can it be? They ought to put in Lois Lerner as SoD, as she seems to be the only one around who is good at targeting.
Right, “O” understands warfare just about as well as he understands anything else...
I was not as precise as I should have been. 0bama said there would be no sizable commitment of US ground forces to combat in Iraq, but that he has not "ruled out" airstrikes.
Nancy Boy Obama has snatchd defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq.
Now that he knows his tactics work he is doing the same thing in Afghanistan.
ISIS is a rogue terrorist group, not doing the terrorist things the US trained and armed them to do. They're a danger to everyone and should be eliminated while they're still in identifiable columns in the desert. Instead Obama wants the rest of Iraq and the US to be sympathetic to Sunni sympathy for their terror.
Does anybody really know what ISIS will do next? Add that to the out-of-control maniacs BokaHaran and it's apparent that this is the real threat....terrorists so bad that AlQaida disavows them.
I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.
So has al-Maliki agreed to resign?
this is the reason God created armed drones and cruise missiles. kill a thousand sunnis and hit happy hour in vegas.
You can actually have the drone laze the target. No need for GPS / lasing from ground troops. And then there are the bomb-sights superimposed that show impact points.