Jacob Siegel on the “killer flaw” in Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom’s Iraq strategy:
A former Special Forces officer in Iraq who maintains extensive contacts among the Kurdish forces points out another factor affecting their performance. “The Kurds’ biggest weakness is the size of the border they have to protect from ISIS and the imperative they are under to yield nothing,” he said. “ISIS can give up territory, but the Kurds cannot.”
Air strikes against ISIS targets can weaken the group, buy time, and prevent it from massing on Kurdish forces, but according to military and CIA veterans, air power alone will not be decisive.
It’s less than that, actually. Here’s what Wiggleroom said last night:
Today I authorized two operations in Iraq — targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death.
Maybe I’m parsing this too closely, but Obama seems to be saying our bombing is targeted at threats against our people in Iraq (which is fine), but not at IS/Caliphate threats against the Peshmerga or Iraqi forces (which make them operationally useless).
In other words, Wiggleroom is remaining true to form. He’ll show enough resolve to put our prestige on the line, but not enough to actually accomplish anything.
This would be a bigger problem if we had any prestige left.