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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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August 11, 2014 - 2:11 pm

An official with the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters at the Pentagon today that U.S. airstrikes “have slowed ISIL’s operational tempo and temporarily disrupted their advances toward the province of Erbil” and Kurdish forces are holding territory near the imperiled city.

“However, these strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria,” cautioned Lt. Gen. Bill Mayville, director of operations.

“ISIL remains focused on securing and gaining additional territory throughout Iraq and will sustain its attacks against Iraqi and Kurdish security forces and their positions, as well as target Yazidis, Christians, and other minorities,” Mayville said. “Our current operations are limited in scope to protect U.S. citizens and facilities, to protect U.S. aircraft supporting humanitarian assistance, and to assist in the breakup of ISIL forces that have laid siege to the Sinjar Mountain.”

That assistance has included “14 successful missions” over the past four nights between the US and UK “airdropping more than 310 bundles of food, water, and medical supplies, delivering almost 16,000 gallons of water and 75,000 meals.”

“To date, U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft, to include F-15Es, F-16s, F/A-18s, and MQ-1s have executed 15 targeted airstrikes,” Mayville said, and “over 60 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft are supporting our coalition efforts.”

He stressed that there are “no plans to expand the current air campaign beyond the current self- defense activities,” even though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) ”a threat to the civilized world.”

“As for what we might do next, we’ll have to wait and see and get a better assessment on the ground before we can offer some options to the president,” Mayville said.

“We are, right now, gripped by the immediacy of the crisis. And our focus right now is to provide immediate relief to those that are suffering. We are looking at the effect that we’re having on those fixed sites, those ISIL sites, those ISIL sites that are laying siege, and we are trying to reduce that threat. And for the near term, that’s going to be our focus.”

Mayville stressed that “in the immediate areas where we have focused our strikes, we’ve had a very temporary effect.”

“What I expect the ISIL to do is to look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere. So I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by ISIL… The targeting in this is going to become more difficult.”

The Joint Chiefs ops director said he remains “very concerned about the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq and in the region.”

“They’re very well-organized. They are very well-equipped. They coordinate their operations. And they have thus far shown the ability to attack on multiple axes. This is not insignificant,” Mayville continued.

“What happened last week was that Iraqi security forces simply did not have the equipment and the supplies and the ammunition to sustain their defensive positions around the Mosul Dam and in and around Mount Sinjar. And it is for that reason that the ISIL forces were as effective as they were.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
Northern Iraq is composed of scattered cities separated by large swaths of open land, almost desert. Travel between the cities generally consists of driving 30 to 50 kilometers across open indefensible area. IS travels mostly in pickup trucks with some SUVs and some lightly armored personell carriers. The ideal weapon to attack these kinds of transport is the A-10 Warthog. A single A-10 carries enough ordinance to take out perhaps 200 of these vehicles. There's nowhere to run. Pass after pass until the ammo runs out and go get some more. Two to five of these planes would make IS no longer the rapidly advancing quick strike force it has been. An airstrip within 50 miles of the front would be needed. You need to be able to land C-130s which supply the A-10s. Not that big of an operation. 200 to 300 people. If IS can't move around at will their power is sorely diminished.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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And those vehicles were all white...WHITE. Whitefish in a barrell.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

At the risk of upsetting appreciators of things that fly, back during my all-expense-paid tour of somewhat sunny Southeast Asia, my favorite Platoon Sergeant was fond of reminding us all of a statue at the Infantry Training Center at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The statue was a depiction of an infantryman with his rucksack and rifle and it was entitled "The Ultimate Weapon". He would conclude with the requisite, "In this business, you don't have nothing until some 20-year old with a long rifle tells you so."
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
C-130 "magic dragons" probably better than A-10s or even F-18s, Cobras and Apaches better yet, coordinated attack is what it says in the book, but we don't have enough stuff in range.

All we can hope for is to save Erbil for now. And if we defended Erbil, must we now defend Baghdad as well?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Holy Guacamole I was just googling around to see what the state of the art is on C-130s and OMG do we have a lot of "stuff" just custom-made for this situation, a couple of C-130s could fly into town, stand off virtually on the horizon, zap everything that ISIS owns, and be home for dinner. Raytheon and company have been busy even while Obambus was playing golf. OMG.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mirror, mirror on the Bloody Wall
Who is the most like Mohammad of them all?

Why, you are ISIS, you are!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They’re very well-organized. They are very well-equipped. They coordinate their operations. And they have thus far shown the ability to attack on multiple axes. This is not insignificant,” Mayville continued.

Golly, didn't we used to be like that once upon a time?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have tried every sort of bombing campaigns over the many wars it it still comes down to boots on the ground. It doesn't matter whose boots but no war or conflict has ever been won by airpower alone. It can be used to temporarily halt the progress of ISIS but if obama does not have a follow up plan then it is only an interruption to the fall of the Middle East. to these savages.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
How many 155's, with how much ammo, have we furnished the Kurds?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Arty is the great equalizer and devastating when used effectively. But it can also be captured and turned back on us (I think that's what ISIS is doing now with Sadam's old gear)
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
ISIlL, ISIL, ISIL!!!

What is it with these trained monkeys?

It's ISIS!

Did Pharoah Obama put out an order for all his trained monkeys to always say ISIL and say it early and often?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it's a deliberate attempt to promote ignorance and confusion, and hence disinterest and tune-out, on who these guys are. People know what and where Syria is, but no one knows who or what the heck a/the Levant is.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Northern Iraq is composed of scattered cities separated by large swaths of open land, almost desert. Travel between the cities generally consists of driving 30 to 50 kilometers across open indefensible area. IS travels mostly in pickup trucks with some SUVs and some lightly armored personell carriers. The ideal weapon to attack these kinds of transport is the A-10 Warthog. A single A-10 carries enough ordinance to take out perhaps 200 of these vehicles. There's nowhere to run. Pass after pass until the ammo runs out and go get some more. Two to five of these planes would make IS no longer the rapidly advancing quick strike force it has been. An airstrip within 50 miles of the front would be needed. You need to be able to land C-130s which supply the A-10s. Not that big of an operation. 200 to 300 people. If IS can't move around at will their power is sorely diminished.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I saw convoys of those scumbags in freaking pickup trucks I was thinking the exact same thing. An A-10 (do we still have those?) would just grind them up (if we used them).
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
We still have them, but they are about to be defunded and retired. We should give a hundred or so to Israel. They couldn't be used against Gaza or the West Bank, but they could be used against IS if they attacked Jordan, Lebanon or Saudi Arabia, Of course, all those countries would publicaly denounce the Jews, but privately they would support Israel fighting to protect them. If done right, the wealthy monarchies might even fund the whole project. After all, IS is going to butcher the entire 2500 Saudi royal family. The Saudi army is almost worthless. It would be a strange twist indeed if these countries, while hating the Jews, depend on Israel for their security. And it would be almost no sweat off the Israeli butt.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try multiple B-52 strikes. They generally work well.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings, Allstonian:

Somewhat after California's Loma Prieto earthquake back in 1989, I had the opportunity to explain, to one of the neighbors, the difference between an earthquake and a B-52 strike. In an earthquake, things fall down. In a B-52 strike, things fall up.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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