Beneath the glowing battle reports about Iraq from U.S. military spokesmen in recent months, there remains a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction among the Pentagon rank and file with the Obama administration’s Islamic State strategy. “What strategy?” asked a Pentagon official involved in counterterrorism analysis. “We are now floating along, reacting to ISIS,” using a common acronym for the Islamic State. This source said the military has a plan for introducing ground troops and defeating the Islamist group, but the belief is that President Obama will never activate it. Whether this unhappiness has reached the inner sanctum of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is unclear. In public, the military leadership says it is squarely behind the strategy of limited U.S.-led airstrikes coinciding with the rebuilding of the Iraq army for all the ground fighting. But, a spot check of department officials and people who interact with the Pentagon reveals deep-seated doubts. The Islamic State’s rout of Ramadi on May 18 exposed more than the Iraqi army’s lack of will to fight, as Defense Secretary Ashton Carter bluntly put it over the weekend. After months of U.S. and coalition airstrikes on hundreds of Islamic State targets, after U.S. surveillance and intelligence collection, and with senior American officers advising Iraqis at a joint command center, the battlefield outcome still was no better than the rout of Mosul 11 months ago. A former official who is frequently in the Pentagon said, “The building is very guarded about what they say, but clearly the White House is running the campaign, which has them furious.” This source said combat pilots can loiter over a target for hours before approval comes to strike it. Sometimes approval never comes. “The targeting requires immaculate rules of engagement, which means they cannot drop if there is a possibility of collateral damage [civilian deaths],” the former official said. U.S. Central Command’s list of airstrikes around Ramadi showed a smattering of tactical strikes, not concentrated air power. On May 18, the day Ramadi fell, Central Command listed three targets as being struck around Ramadi — two tactical units and an Islamic State staging area. Destroyed there were an armored vehicle, an excavator and a resupply vehicle. On the previous day, as Islamic State fighters were taking control of Ramadi, eight airstrikes hit targets near the city. They were three tactical units, eight buildings, two armored vehicles, two mortars, an ammunition storage area and a command center. “This is worse than pathetic,” the former official said. Another annoying development, the source said, is the lack of American arms making their way from the Shiite-led national government in Baghdad to Iraqi Kurdish forces in the north. They have proven to be one of the few Iraqi units willing to take on the Islamic State.
Nothing new here. Everyone knows that Obama has NO military knowledge/experience, and yet he and that idiot Dr. Susan Rice, are continuing micro-manage the war effort in Iraq and Syria even after it’s been clearly shown how much of a failure their lack of strategy has been! They continue to do so because they’re both so full of themselves. Their arrogance knows no boundaries. Not so ironically, that’s exactly what another blow-hard Democrat President, LBJ, did in Vietnam and why it too was a disaster, and didn’t work. A President’s job is to make big policy decisions, and then turn the how-to mechanics over to the professionals. Once a decision to take military action has been made, the President should step back and let the military professionals do what they do best without busy-body meddling by politicians (like Obama) and academic bureaucrats (like Dr. Susan Rice) who haven’t the slightest flipping clue about how to conduct a military campaign. As for the Joint Chiefs.. Let’s be clear about something.. They are politically appointed. So, of COURSE, they are painting a bright picture of how things are going in Iraq and Syria. After all, they have to make their boss, Obama, look good. Otherwise, they might end up like retired 4-star Army General, GEN Stan McChrystal; who after getting caught saying some rather unflattering things about VP Joe Biden by some liberal Rolling Stone journalist in Afghanistan, was relieved of his command and retired early. GEN McChrystal was my boss in Afghanistan, and I can tell you personally, the man was a great warrior and soldier…and an outstanding commander. But, that’s the politics of being a General officer. But, I digress… Journalists in the dominantly liberal mainstream media always take the easy route and just regurgitate whatever daily/weekly talking points are put out by them through the Pentagon spokesperson in D.C. If you want to know what the military really thinks about what what’s going on…..drill down to at least the 1 star (Brigadier General) or O-6 (Colonel) level and talk to officers who have at least their 20 year letter (so they’ll get their pension either way), and aren’t in quite a politically sensitive position. Or, better yet, talk to those 3 and 4 star flag officers like retired GEN Stan McChrystal or retired GEN David Petraeus, who have recently retired, have worked for Obama, and can give the inside scoop without fear of reprisal. I would listen to, and trust, both of those outstanding retired 4 star Army Generals who both went to West Point in the ’70s, had master jump wings, had Ranger tabs, and commanded troops in combat ALL day long over those pointy-headed electoid academic morons in the White House….or the party-line, approved talking-points bs being spewed by the Pentagon spokespersons, all day long.