For several months, US Defense Watch has been saying that the air war against ISIS is a farce, the modern version of MASH’s infamous “Five O’Clock Charlie,” who after dropping one bomb and missing, flies away into the sky for another harmless return trip the next day.
For the last year, the world has listened to endless song and dance, smoke and mirrors Pentagon briefings about how well our air campaign was destroying ISIS. Of course anyone who was in the military and/or studied past campaigns knew that the former Pentagon spokesman and now State Department, Hillary Clinton defender, Rear Admiral Kirby was operating the smoke machine himself.
Now, the Russians have arrived with aircraft and bombs and a lot of testosterone that seemed to be missing from the US campaign, “Inherent Resolve.” After just three days of flying, it’s apparent that the Russians mean business and that the US had zero resolve.
Of course the Kremlin could be pulling some elaborate “maskirovka,” but their claims that they’re putting the hurt on ISIS could very well be valid.
As the Russian air campaign unfolds, Operation Inherent Resolve is being flushed out as some kind of Potemkin Village facade created by the Obama Administration and sold to a gullible media by a Pentagon PR team Don Draper would have envied.
One question that’s been asked repeatedly over the past thirteen months is why Washington has been unable to achieve the Pentagon’s stated goal of “degrading and defeating” ISIS despite the fact that the “battle” pits the most advanced air force on the planet against what amounts to a ragtag band of militants running around the desert in basketball shoes.
Those of a skeptical persuasion have been inclined to suggest that perhaps the US isn’t fully committed to the fight. Explanations for that suggestion range from the mainstream (the White House is loathe to get the US into another Mid-East war) to the “conspiratorial” (the CIA created ISIS and thus doesn’t want to destroy the group due to its value as a strategic asset).
The implication in all of this is that a modern army that was truly determined to destroy the group could likely do so in a matter of months if not weeks and so once Russia began flying sorties from Latakia, the world was anxious to see just how long the various rebel groups operating in Syria could hold up under bombardment by the Russian air force.
The answer, apparently, is “less than a week.”