Washington Free Beacon reports.
U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.
Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The policy is being blamed for allowing Islamic State militants to gain strength across Iraq and continue waging terrorist strikes throughout the region and beyond, according to Royce and former military leaders who spoke Wednesday about flaws in the U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State.
“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Royce said. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”
A quick review… here’s an article from earlier this year from the Wall Street Journal, about the low number of air strikes being conducted per day by President Pantywaist:
While it is still too early to proclaim the air campaign against Islamic State a failure, it may be instructive to compare it with other campaigns conducted by the U.S. military since the end of the Cold War that were deemed successes. For instance, during the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition fighters and bombers flew 48,224 strike sorties. This translates to roughly 1,100 sorties a day. Twelve years later, the 31-day air campaign that helped free Iraq from Saddam’s government averaged more than 800 offensive sorties a day.
By contrast, over the past two months U.S. aircraft and a small number of partner forces have conducted 412 total strikes in Iraq and Syria—an average of seven strikes a day. With Islamic State in control of an area approaching 50,000 square miles, it is easy to see why this level of effort has not had much impact on its operations.
Of course, air operations during Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom were each supported by a massive coalition force on the ground. Thus it may be more appropriate to compare current operations against Islamic State with the 78-day air campaign against Serbian forces and their proxies in 1999, or the 75-day air campaign in Afghanistan that was instrumental in forcing the Taliban out of power in 2001.
Both campaigns relied heavily on partner forces on the ground augmented by a small but significant number of U.S. troops. These air campaigns averaged 138 and 86 strike sorties a day respectively—orders of magnitude greater than the current tempo of operations against Islamic State.
Now, Obama is fond of saying that he is very interested in alternatives to his plans, and in fact, such an alternative exists – from his former top intelligence official:
Writing in Politico, Obama’s former top intelligence official, Mike Vickers, thoroughly dismantled Obama’s ISIS strategy, saying that “by any measure, our strategy in Iraq and Syria is not succeeding, or is not succeeding fast enough.”
Vickers’ credentials on this matter are impeccable. Until earlier this year, he was undersecretary of defense for intelligence, overseeing the NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency. An Army Special Forces veteran, he’s served as a key advisor to four presidents, and was the principal strategist behind the U.S. effort to defeat the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
[…]Whereas Obama insists that the attacks against ISIS must be “a long-term campaign,” Vickers explains that “time is not on our side” and that “we are playing a long game, when a more rapid and disruptive strategy is required.”
Vickers says that, contrary to what Obama claims, ISIS “cannot be contained any more than al-Qaida could prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
Obama dismisses ISIS as “killers with fantasies of glory who are very savvy when it comes to social media,” and who “pretend that they are a functioning state.”
Vickers explains that ISIS “is a de facto state. It holds territory, controls population, and funds its operations from resources that it exploits on territory it controls.”
While Obama seems to think that the best we can hope for is to someday “shrink” the territory ISIS controls “to defeat their narrative,” Vickers notes that Obama is needlessly handicapping the military: The “one thing the American military knows how to do is defeating an opposing force trying to hold ground.”
According to Obama, the only alternative to his minimalist ISIS strategy is another Iraq quagmire. Not so, says Vickers. “There are a lot of operational options between what we did in Iraq and what we didn’t do in Libya.”
Vickers says another leg of Obama’s “strategy” — namely that any resolution of the ISIS problem has to involve “a resolution to the Syria situation” — is wrong. On this point, in fact, he is emphatic. “We must not succumb to the false hope that ending the Syrian civil war is the key to defeating ISIS.”
Vickers also rejects joining forces with Russia in this clash.
In his press conference, Obama also complained that he hadn’t seen any “particular strategies that they would suggest that would make a real difference.”
Well, Vickers has one. Follow the model used to defeat the Taliban, and the Soviet army before that, in Afghanistan.
So, suppose there is a Paris-style attack within the United States that is planned and led by Islamic State elements. Will we be able to say that Obama has done everything he could to keep us safe? We have a porous southern border, pulling our forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan, a nearly constant stream of security breaches, massive cuts to defense spending, $140 billion dollars for Iran, cuts in military pay, and military morale at an all-time low. This President has no interest in protecting the American people.
When we get whacked by our enemies, and innocent people die, remember that Obama coddled those same enemies and let them do that to us. He doesn’t think Islamic State is evil, he doesn’t think that America is good, he doesn’t see that it’s his job as defeating evil and protecting Americans from evil.