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Thread: Airpower Jumping Off In Syria

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Airpower Jumping Off In Syria

    Airpower bombing Muzzlem head choppers back to the stone age!

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    Default First Combat Use Of F-22

    Pentagon is confirming that F-22 Raptor
    lead the raids!

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Video Of ISIS Being Bombed

    Raw footage of first Air strikes against ISIS>


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA6mXr1CTAg

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    Once again we confuse air power and targeting with strategy, and once again it will fail if there isn't more to the strategy. The only thing stone age about this is relying on air power as a substitute for strategy. I posted this on the blog.

    An Arab and western coalition bombing extremists is an important step in the conflict against Islamic extremism, but if it isn't coordinated with ground forces it won't have much of an impact. According to sources in Syria Assad was notified, which only makes sense from a force protection aspect. Shoot at our planes and we'll crush you. Can't help but wonder if we and the Arab coalition would be willing to form a temporary alliance with the devil to crush ISIL? Mao and the Chinese Nationalists formed a temporary alliance to fight the Japanese, and then went back to killing each other. Initial reports are that the targeting had minimal impact on ISIL because they already dispersed and moved into private homes effectively neutralizing air power. When you have that many in the coalition the probability of the designated targets being leaked is high, so we're spending a lot of money on high end munitions to accomplish what? Strategic communications? Overall I remain hopeful we will take decisive action when the conditions are set, but will also remain suspect unless there is more to the strategy.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default The Army Costs To Much And They Loose To Often

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Once again we confuse air power and targeting with strategy, and once again it will fail if there isn't more to the strategy. The only thing stone age about this is relying on air power as a substitute for strategy. I posted this on the blog.

    An Arab and western coalition bombing extremists is an important step in the conflict against Islamic extremism, but if it isn't coordinated with ground forces it won't have much of an impact. According to sources in Syria Assad was notified, which only makes sense from a force protection aspect. Shoot at our planes and we'll crush you. Can't help but wonder if we and the Arab coalition would be willing to form a temporary alliance with the devil to crush ISIL? Mao and the Chinese Nationalists formed a temporary alliance to fight the Japanese, and then went back to killing each other. Initial reports are that the targeting had minimal impact on ISIL because they already dispersed and moved into private homes effectively neutralizing air power. When you have that many in the coalition the probability of the designated targets being leaked is high, so we're spending a lot of money on high end munitions to accomplish what? Strategic communications? Overall I remain hopeful we will take decisive action when the conditions are set, but will also remain suspect unless there is more to the strategy.
    Bill. After 13 years and 2 Trillion dollars of failed boots on the ground the President didn't have any choice but to switch to the always dependable Air Force and Navy Air Operatons and then phase II CIA/SF operations of training a local Arab Army and finally to phase III operations of destroying ISIL . Sounds like Strategy to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapovideo 61462
    Bill. After 13 years and 2 Trillion dollars of failed boots on the ground the President didn't have any choice but to switch to the always dependable Air Force and Navy Air Operatons and then phase II CIA/SF operations of training a local Arab Army and finally to phase III operations of destroying ISIL . Sounds like Strategy to me.
    Sounds more video games and cartoon hour to me. Means and ways disconnected from ends at the strategic and operational levels and minimal impact at the tactical level. The illusion of doing something for political gain is a strategy, but not a good one.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Hash Tag Bombing Strategy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Sounds more video games and cartoon hour to me. Means and ways disconnected from ends at the strategic and operational levels and minimal impact at the tactical level. The illusion of doing something for political gain is a strategy, but not a good one.
    So what other options does the poor guy have (can't believe it I actually am defending President Obama)We have had the greatest failure of Generalship since Vietnam.

    The only Strategy we offer the President is..........
    1-spend more money we don't have
    2- spend more us lives while the locals laugh at us
    3-spend more time we don't have
    4- create more us maimed and PTSD injured from years of violence
    and all for what? Who wins rich Arabs,Iran,Russia,China?

    IMO we should be using hash tag bombing. B-52s wing tip to wing tip,nose to tail and fly east to west one day and then north to south the next(hash tag pattern). Then drain every Rich Arabs bank account in the entire middle east.

    We need Major Kong!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snTaSJk0n_Y
    Last edited by slapout9; 09-24-2014 at 08:17 PM. Reason: God Bless Major Kong

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    So what other options does the poor guy have (can't believe it I actually am defending President Obama)We have had the greatest failure of Generalship since Vietnam.
    Hard to compete with Bush's administration to invade Iraq and then the subsequent management of it for a strategic failure of leadership that weakened the U.S..

    The only Strategy we offer the President is..........
    1-spend more money we don't have
    2- spend more us lives while the locals laugh at us
    3-spend more time we don't have
    4- create more us maimed and PTSD injured from years of violence
    and all for what? Who wins rich Arabs,Iran,Russia,China?
    Using your logic above, certainly airpower doesn't answer 1-3 and the last part of part 4.

    The bottom line is that air power is essential, I'm not anti-airpower, I'm anti confusing airpower with a holistic strategy. For this type of targeting you need guys on the ground to both identify targets and then exploit the results of the bombing (take and control the terrain, and enable pursuit of the adversary). Sec Kerry said there were a lot of folks on the ground, implying regional country intelligence services, which is probably true and they can enable targeting. Then again what do we ultimately want to accomplish? That isn't clear to me yet. What does defeat of IS mean? We do have a lot smart people in JCS, State, and NSC, I know shocking coming from me, so hopefully there is more in the cards than we're seeing.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default It Is A Strategy But Not A Very Good One

    Bill,
    The President does have a Strategy by the current definition of a Strategy "Ends,Ways,Means". Problem is that isn't going to work anymore,especially against this crew. You essentially have an Psychopathic Islamic Army and yes Islam...the Koran is the source! Until we face that we are lost. The noted British Strategy analyst Liddel Hart warned that htis could happen and it would be as big a threat as Communism, but it fell on deaf ears.

    The answer as always is in the Rings of Violence. Read the below paper and pay special attention to the Strategic Targets which we have done very little to Affect after all this money,time,and blood.

    The "Magic Triangle" of targeting is Manpower,Money,and Media. We do pretty good at degrading the manpower but I was shocked to find how little we have affected Money and Media, both of which are critical for operations and recruiting.


    Until we get back to creating an Affect against the right target in order to create the desired Effect we are just Target plinking until the next election.

    Link to paper Unleashing Warden's Rings!

    https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=438609

    Until we can face the fact that there will be NO end as long as there is a book, a religion and religious leaders that preach that it is OK to kill for Allah. There will only be Targets and the never ending Mission.

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    Default Five Rings model: does it fit today?

    Slap,

    I think Warden's theories and knowledge have been debated here before, that caveat aside I am wary of following his model in 2014. Secondly the paper was published in 2002 and one hopes there is greater knowledge today.

    Terrorism does not follow a set model, we may wish it did and if there is one lesson since 9/11 is that they can be far more adaptable than their opponents (a general phrase).

    ISIS have survived as a group for many years, when Iraqi and non-Iraqi opponents were attacking them (Outlaw09 makes the point local Jihadists existed under Saddam Hussein too). As AQI they moved into Syria, truly "a land of opportunity" and developed into the force able to take cities in Iraq, without defeat (from memory, so qualified last two words).

    What President Obama and his coalition appear to have today IMHO are tactics without a strategy. Reducing the capabilities of ISIS with attendant pictures, in the assumption even hope that capable local forces can contain ISIS and at sometime roll them back physically. Their jihadist message remains. This is Containment.

    Containment is a political objective for today and tomorrow, not for the long-term.

    I shall leave your finals entence for another day.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Slap,

    I think Warden's theories and knowledge have been debated here before, that caveat aside I am wary of following his model in 2014. Secondly the paper was published in 2002 and one hopes there is greater knowledge today.
    Thats right which is why I posted it. If you watch this Air Campaign (which may take years) they are really focusing on Ring #2 now. The process/system essentials ring. In this case they going after the finance process which is not just banking but illegal oil sales. If they can properly affect the oil sales bombing oil facilities) they will start to impact the organizations ability to pay their Army. Which will really start to degrade the organization ability to function. Which is what phase one Degrade is all about.

    As for the other sentance..... Nigel Farage will save the UK.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_RKEhT6-f8
    Last edited by slapout9; 09-26-2014 at 08:49 AM. Reason: add video

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    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Just to make sure I understand what you say, Slapout: 'destroying Daesh refineries' (cough) - either needed by Syria in the future or run by local Arabs to earn money to survive - and plenty of empty buildings is 'Ring 2' and therefore 'strategy'...?

    But, cutting off the supply of that oil to the regime in Damascus and black market (including Daesh supporters) in Turkey - not?

    And it is not so that this 'shock & awe' air show - with 'genuine' princes and princessess as secondary characters - is more spectacular for the media than _actually doing something that makes sense_ against the Dash, no matter how little of the Daesh it's hitting?

    (For example, and if you 'must' deploy air power because it's so flashy: then at least try interdicting major concentrations of the Daesh west, east and south of Kobane).

    Below a photo released by one of Jihadists yesterday, showing the town of Kobane - but also what an open area this is: considering all the UAVs flying there, guess that's making it 'extremely hard' to distinguish the Daesh, its tanks, artillery, and plenty of vehicles, from the YPG and FSyA that are operating no heavy weapons in this part of Syria at all...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Just to make sure I understand what you say, Slapout: 'destroying Daesh refineries' (cough) - either needed by Syria in the future or run by local Arabs to earn money to survive - and plenty of empty buildings is 'Ring 2' and therefore 'strategy'...?

    But, cutting off the supply of that oil to the regime in Damascus and black market (including Daesh supporters) in Turkey - not?
    Crowbat,
    I will try to answer your questions as best I can since I only have access to open sources.

    1-They(USA) are trying to degrade the income producing capability of ISIL and only ISIL (not Syria in general) at this time.This will put pressure on the organization as a whole as it will degrade their capability to pay/support their soldiers and personnel. This may change in the future but for now that is what they are trying to do.

    2-Often when they hit a so called empty building it is because they want to deny any future usage to the enemy.

    3-Some of the targets you ask about are ring#5 targets (Fielded Forces) they will get to these but for now they are going after targets that degrade the organizations ability to regenerate long term. And they are trying to do this with precision so they don't create any more future cost of repair then they have to.

    Hope this helps, anymore questions feel free to ask.

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    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Well, indeed, there must be something about such games I do not understand at all, so I guess you'll have your hands full of explaining me a few things now.

    For example, I would expect that the people writing targeting lists for air shows of this kind would - after 14 years of continuous warfare against such groups like the Daesh - have learned that targeting 'headquarters', 'storage sites', 'captured air bases', even 'refineries' (whether 'true' refineries in sense of industrial facilities, or various makeshift refineries 'constructed' run by dozens of Syrian families in NE of that country) means absolutely nothing.

    I would expect the same people to understand that this is not going to degrade Daesh's capability to continue spreading terror the least. Just like bombing 'refineries' in Syria, while doing nothing of that kind with much larger facilities under the Daesh control in Iraq, is actually counterproductive.

    Thus, my first question: since every 18-years old recruit in a military based on draft is drilled to pack and get out of the barracks within the shortest period of time (usually 5-10 minutes) in the case of any sort of an alert, would you be so kind to specify: in what fashion is blasting of empty buildings going to 'degrade' the combat effectiveness or at least capability of a force like the Daesh is one to continue spreading its terror?

    For example, do you think that's going to prevent it from overrunning the Kobane pocket?

    To make few things clear: I have no doubts that 'bombing a [empty] house' looks better on any LANTRIN-video than 'bombing two black dots [read: humans, tanks, artillery pieces etc.] in some open space'. Plus, houses are renowned for not running around and thus for being easier to hit (word is that this is a sort of tradition for houses and quite common between them since something like 11,000 years)...

    But still, I'm simply not getting that with relation between the Daesh and empty houses....

    ....

    Anyway, field forces are No. 5 in that strategy. Hey, that's great. Good organization, fantastic and throughout thinking, excellent checklist: keep it going. 'Guess they've spent several hundreds of millions plus a number of years to think about this all, plus needed help and consultation from a number of private companies and think-tanks, of course, so I can't but conclude: 'job well done lads'.

    Now, what would you say, when is it likely that the people writing these targeting lists might come to the idea that it's about the time to 'go for Ring 5', i.e. when can the YPG and FSyA units defending the Kobane pocket expect at least some of all the planes flying over NE Syria to come to their aid?

    a) When US-led coalition has bombed all the empty buildings that it thinks are going to degrade Daesh's combat effectiveness;
    b) When the Daesh overruns the Kobane pocket
    c) When the Daesh idiots start slaughtering any combatants and civilians they catch in the Kobane pocket?
    d) Or when all of this will be over and Daesh idiots start posting videos of their 'victory' on Twitter and Facebook?

    Please feel free to take your time with answer. I guess it's obvious that nobody (except the Daesh) is in a hurry here.
    Last edited by CrowBat; 09-27-2014 at 11:37 PM.

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    I don't think many people in the air force buy in to the 5 ring targeting theory. The systems Warden talks about are models we construct in our minds, they do not represent reality. It is an amateurish way to conduct a war and just like our COIn doctrine it hasn't received any gold medals. We won't put a dent in their multiple means of financing by targeting one source ineptly with these strikes. Targeting empty buildings is for theater. Killing members of IS is valuable as is destroying their vehicles. They should have been the first target before they disperse and become less vulnerable. We can blow up fixed targets like empty buildings later. Studies on the effectiveness of air campaigns indicate that hitting an adversaries armed forces have been considerably more effective than deep attacks on strategic targets. I think both have a role but in this case it needs to be the focus. The fielded forces are real, the systems are figment of our imagination used to make sense of complexity, but complexity is still there and these systems rapidly change and continue to function.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Well, indeed, there must be something about such games I do not understand at all, so I guess you'll have your hands full of explaining me a few things now.

    For example, I would expect that the people writing targeting lists for air shows of this kind would - after 14 years of continuous warfare against such groups like the Daesh - have learned that targeting 'headquarters', 'storage sites', 'captured air bases', even 'refineries' (whether 'true' refineries in sense of industrial facilities, or various makeshift refineries 'constructed' run by dozens of Syrian families in NE of that country) means absolutely nothing.

    I would expect the same people to understand that this is not going to degrade Daesh's capability to continue spreading terror the least. Just like bombing 'refineries' in Syria, while doing nothing of that kind with much larger facilities under the Daesh control in Iraq, is actually counterproductive.

    Thus, my first question: since every 18-years old recruit in a military based on draft is drilled to pack and get out of the barracks within the shortest period of time (usually 5-10 minutes) in the case of any sort of an alert, would you be so kind to specify: in what fashion is blasting of empty buildings going to 'degrade' the combat effectiveness or at least capability of a force like the Daesh is one to continue spreading its terror?

    For example, do you think that's going to prevent it from overrunning the Kobane pocket?

    To make few things clear: I have no doubts that 'bombing a [empty] house' looks better on any LANTRIN-video than 'bombing two black dots [read: humans, tanks, artillery pieces etc.] in some open space'. Plus, houses are renowned for not running around and thus for being easier to hit (word is that this is a sort of tradition for houses and quite common between them since something like 11,000 years)...

    But still, I'm simply not getting that with relation between the Daesh and empty houses....

    ....

    Anyway, field forces are No. 5 in that strategy. Hey, that's great. Good organization, fantastic and throughout thinking, excellent checklist: keep it going. 'Guess they've spent several hundreds of millions plus a number of years to think about this all, plus needed help and consultation from a number of private companies and think-tanks, of course, so I can't but conclude: 'job well done lads'.

    Now, what would you say, when is it likely that the people writing these targeting lists might come to the idea that it's about the time to 'go for Ring 5', i.e. when can the YPG and FSyA units defending the Kobane pocket expect at least some of all the planes flying over NE Syria to come to their aid?

    a) When US-led coalition has bombed all the empty buildings that it thinks are going to degrade Daesh's combat effectiveness;
    b) When the Daesh overruns the Kobane pocket
    c) When the Daesh idiots start slaughtering any combatants and civilians they catch in the Kobane pocket?
    d) Or when all of this will be over and Daesh idiots start posting videos of their 'victory' on Twitter and Facebook?

    Please feel free to take your time with answer. I guess it's obvious that nobody (except the Daesh) is in a hurry here.
    My goodness CrowBat!,
    I cant tell where the question or questions begin and you personal commentary begins, despite the fact that I really do enjoy reading your posts.

    I will answer what I think you want to know.
    The Strategic concept was to use an American Air Force to support a local Arab Army to finish off/Destroy ISIL(Daesh). The problem is we don't have a reliable, compentent Arab Army to support with our Air Power at the present time and press reports say in maybe a year or more before we (USA) can train and or find one to support. So this Camapign is going to go on for awhile before you see any major results.
    Last edited by slapout9; 09-28-2014 at 08:21 AM. Reason: fix stuff

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    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    OK, let's start from the start: to say I'm clueless about US air power would be an understatement. I know to distinguish a F-15 from F-16, but I have no clue about the methods and processes related to targeting selection of the USAF, USN, USMC etc.

    I'm just somebody with 'above average' interest in obscure air forces, incl. specific Arab-, Iranian, and few African air forces. The less-well known, the more interesting for me they get. Thus, the SyAAF is something like my 'speciality', between others (IRIAF, former IrAF, and few others would be additional examples, as can be seen from all the titles that can be found on the link here). When researching about such air forces, I go slightly further than most of my colleagues, i.e. I do not only research aircraft types, camo patterns and markings, and I do not copy-paste from other publications all the time, but I did quite some travelling around the areas of my interest, I do have quite a few '1st hand contacts'. Foremost: I'm a curious person and want to understand how things function and why they function the way they do. Therefore, I'm researching about 'how comes', and then 'capabilities and intentions' too.

    Bottom line: I can tell you the recent loss of a SyAAF Su-24 to Israeli PAC-2 was a result of reckless behaviour by the Su-24-crew. But, I couldn't tell you anything about these five 'rings' of US air power strategy (at least nothing else than what can be found in this thread) and similar 'stuff'. My avatar is insignia of the former No. 31 Squadron United Arab Republic Air Force (from 1958-1967 period), and I can describe how it came into being, and tell you the history of that unit (which included a number - then 'future' - Arab air force commanders and even statesmen), but I do not understand even the logic of the people running the US air power.

    In this very case, my point is this: the Daesh has at least 4,000 idiots, supported by between 20 and 40 MBTs, IFVs, and artillery pieces in the process of assaulting Kobane/Tel Abyad.

    In essence, this means that the Daesh has concentrated most of its forces available in NE Syria within an area that was (and still is) decreasing in size in quite dramatic fashion, the last week (see the map below).

    This translates into something like THE opportunity to smash a major Daesh force in Syria.

    The pocket is defended by combatants of the YPG (major Kurdish militia in Syria), and the FSyA: both are declared 'allies' in the war against the Daesh. For both it is known that they have no heavy weapons in the given area (well, except one of Daesh's MBTs they've captured yesterday).

    It is on hand that, once the Kobane pocket will be overrun (which appears a 'matter of time' to me, considering Turkish blockade of this area, perhaps even provision of artillery support for the Daesh - whether intentional or not, at least the artillery in question is hitting the YPG and FSyA positions, not those of the Daesh), the Daesh is going to:

    a) slaughter anybody its gets into its hands,
    b) fill the internet with videos and photos of doing that, and then
    c) disperse.

    Now, as mentioned above, I'm clueless, and it is perfectly possible that my logic is anything but applicable for the US air power. I am ready to agree that the business of tracking down and then hitting moving columns of the Daesh, or Daesh hordes manoeuvring on the battlefield, might be beyond the ability of different Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini or whatever other princes'.

    But to me it's not only 'obvious': it's crystal clear that this Daesh concentration off Kobane should be the target No.1, No.2... No. 5... No. 15...No. 50....No.99 and all the way thru No. 9999 on anybody's target list there.

    But instead, all that happens is that CENTCOM (according to its own report) flies two strikes to knock out two MBTs...?!?

    If this is not enough, let's take a closer look at another aspect of this 'Rings-related targeting checklist' nons...cough... theory. Please read the WP article about fighting in Hassakah Province, here for the start. Reason: let's say it's a good indication of what I happen to know about the situation there, but foremost it's useful for listing most important Arab tribes in NE Syria.

    By sheer accident, it is these tribes that are running most of 'refineries' now bombed by the US-led air power.

    Notable between these tribes are such like Shammar. This was the first important tribe to raise against the AQI in Iraq and help US forces there - just to be left down by Washington and then screwed up by Maliki. And when they were abandoned in such a classic fashion, they've been stabbed in the back by the Daesh too, and left without solution but to pledge allegiance to it. Nevertheless, they and some other tribes there have recently launched a de-facto uprising against the Daesh, brutally suppressed by these idiots, as can be heard from 1st hand sources in situ, or read here, here, here, and in many other places.

    And now they are bombed by the US and allies - because the 'refineries' they're running are the 'Ring 2' of some imaginary 'air power strategy' - while the Daesh concentration at Kobane is not, because 'that's Ring 5 and we're not yet there'...?

    Can you explain me this logic?
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    Last edited by CrowBat; 09-28-2014 at 09:58 AM.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    OK, let's start from the start: to say I'm clueless about US air power would be an understatement. I know to distinguish a F-15 from F-16, but I have no clue about the methods and processes related to targeting selection of the USAF, USN, USMC etc.


    Crowbat,
    Today is your lucky day. Most people in the military don't understand Air Power. But thats OK I will take care of that! So lets start by understanding what an Air Campaign is. I have posted this before but here it is again just for you.

    http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/Uplo...esentation.pdf

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    Well, not only you avoided answering any of my questions, but what can be read on the link you posted has imposed a number of further questions. Including:

    - Warden clearly says, '[war is] a means to end an objective, that 'all war activity should be conceived and executed to realize only those objectives achievable by force.

    What objectives are 'achievable by force' - especially so when deployed air power is blasting empty buildings, for example?

    Or, newest 'appearance' and then one that should be of major concern for anybody interested: this campaign is missing the Daesh, it's missing the JAN and it missed the Ahrar ash-Sham (which meanwhile dispersed). On the contrary, it has meanwhile killed more Syrian civilians than extremists. According to reports like this report (in Arabic), at least 43 Syrian civilians were killed yesterday alone - and this while the US-led air power was blasting empty buildings and makeshift refineries.

    Keep in mind: it is precisely because of concerns it could end hitting Iraqi civilians that the IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) has ceased its attacks on Daesh in Iraq, something like 20 days ago. Namely, the Daesh dispersed after being hit by the IRIAF some 20 times, through August and in early September, leaving the IRIAF - which is actually a US-trained air force, still very much following even USAF's doctrine - 'without clear targets' (I'm citing 1st-hand source here).

    So, now I'm curious to hear: what kind of objective are planners of this campaign trying to achieve through such action?

    - He's 'writing' about 'change in enemy beliefs', and 'prevent an enemy from doing something'. What part of Daesh's beliefs do you think have these air strikes changed so far?

    And in what fashion was Daesh prevented from 'doing something' (for example: from continuing its assault on Kobane pocket)?

    - He's writing about 'exit strategy'.

    Who has defined the US exit strategy for this campaign, and what is that looking like?

    - Finally, Warden is writing about factor time: how long is this campaign going to last? Indeed, he's writing about 'time value of action' (page 13), and is stressing 'highly compressed, highly parallel' action.

    On the contrary, this campaign is developing in particularly slow fashion, with more planes arriving in very gradual fashion and thus the intensity of operations developing only gradually. Or would you say that this campaign developed precisely along Warden's theories?

    Whatever is the answer: that means that the enemy is left with more time to repair and reconstitute, to prepare a counter-offensive, to acquire allies (the latter process already began: in the light of all possible reports about high numbers of killed Syrian civilians, more than 200 defections from the JAN to the Daesh have been recorded in the last few days, and more than 50% of defectors are Syrians)... Indeed, if this campaign goes on like this, the Daesh is going to get time to 'employ novel weapons', and the 'world opinion' is likely to 'shift' too (especially in the light of heavy suffering of Syrian civilians).

    The US has entered this war with its own public weary from 14 years of anti-terror war that is actually still going on - and was thus never won. How long do you expect the domestic support to last this time?

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    Our targeting process has allowed IS to maintain the initiative. This appears to be little more than theater to demonstrate to our voters before the midterm that we're tough on terror. Just get a bag of popcorn and watch the show. There isn't one military analyst who thinks this will work if someone's ground forces are not following up on these attacks.

    As for civilians being killed maybe, but could also be propaganda.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...onslaught.html

    Late on Saturday, the town’s prayers finally appeared to be answered, as a salvo of US air strikes hit distant Islamist positions in the nearby villages of Marj Esmael and Alishar, less than five miles from Kobane.

    But as night fell, the American strikes appeared to have had little effect as Islamic State forces continued to pound the Kurdish positions with mortar shells, which shook the earth nearly a mile away across the Turkish border. Plumes of white smoke rose above the areas where the heavy artillery had fallen, and the smell of gun power hung in the air. In reply, the Kurdish forces offered only rifle fire, interspersed with occasional machine gun shots.
    A sane strategist wouldn't be hitting empty buildings when a Kurdish town is about to be overrun.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 09-29-2014 at 12:13 AM.

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