This isn’t really news. It’s just a reminder that the air strikes on ISIS are being run in the same disastrous fashion as those in Afghanistan. And it didn’t begin with Obama. Lest we forget, on the day before 9/11, Bill Clinton was boasting that he had let Osama bin Laden go to avoid collateral damage.
Obama Inc. talks about how the Iraqis don’t want to fight. It neglects to mention that it isn’t letting the military fight.
U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets.ISIS is well aware of the framework and functions within it. Just like the Taliban quickly learned that if they were in residential areas or around mosques, that if they didn’t show weapons, they were free and clear.
They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: “There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage.”
He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”
Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing.
“You’re talking about hours in some cases, which by that time the particular tactical target left the area and or the aircraft has run out of fuel. These are excessive procedures that are handing our adversary an advantage,” said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a former director of the Combined Air Operations Center in Afghanistan in 2001.And for Obama that’s still too many.
Deptula also contrasted the current air campaign against ISIS with past air campaigns.
The U.S.-led airstrikes over Iraq during the first Gulf War averaged 1,125 strike sorties per day, according to Deptula. He said the Kosovo campaign averaged 135 strikes per day. In 2003, the famous “shock and awe” campaign over Iraq saw 800 strikes per day.
According to the U.S.-led coalition to defeat ISIS, U.S. military aircraft carry out 80 percent of the strikes against ISIS and average 14 per day.