The tiny pin pricks of war

By Ray Starmann

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Today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that 200 special operations troops are heading to Iraq.

Approximately 200 special operations forces, including intelligence personnel, pilots to position them, mechanics to maintain their aircraft, a quick reaction force and other support personnel in addition to the main assault force are headed to Iraq in the next few weeks as part of the new “specialized expeditionary targeting force” according to a U.S. official.

A separate senior U.S. official said that capturing senior ISIS leaders would be an important component of the new assault force’s mission to learn more about ISIS networks as well.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford stated that “ISIS was not contained.” Whoa…That surely contradicts El Presidente’s famous statement six hours before the Paris attacks, that “ISIS was contained.”

Hopefully, Dunford’s taciturn honesty is a harbinger of things to come. On the other hand, he may be taking advantage of the fact that Obama is 3,800 miles away in the City of Lights, sucking down duck pate, while discussing monsoons with the Kuala Lumpur city council.

Ash and Trash Carter’s announcement, while a good start, is indicative of what I call the “tiny pin pricks of war” or the incrementalization of combat operations. This constant adding of a little bit of this here and little bit there, like a chef seasoning food; is a far cry from the Powell Doctrine, which called for massive application of military force once all other options had failed.

Last month, Carter announced that 50 special operations were headed to Syria. While special operations troopers are superbly trained, I doubt 50 of them can change the course of history in Syria.

The focus on Special Forces to fight ISIS is an indicator that the Pentagon, the White House or both of them are completely out of focus when understanding that the war with ISIS is not solely a counter-insurgency battle as the Army and Marines fought in the Iraq War. The war with ISIS should be fought as a conventional conflict against a nation state, while also utilizing special operations on certain missions.

Nothing is more indicative of the “tiny pin pricks of war” approach than Operation Inherent Resolve, the feckless, idiotic air campaign against ISIS. The air campaign is nothing more than a show room model of air power. The Pentagon might as well wheel out Bob Barker and a blond model to show us a fake plane laden with an assortment of dummy bombs. We might as well be dropping water balloons on ISIS for all the good it’s doing to damage the caliphate.

The tiny pin pricks of war, the incrementalization of war only leads to further involvement and eventually causes more casualties for the US military. The White House can fantasize about how their obsession with collateral damage has saved lives. On the contrary, the pin prick air campaign has resulted in tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Syria being tortured, raped and murdered by ISIS.

Instead of applying massive brute force, the tiny pin pricks of war theory creates scenarios where troops are ill-supplied and out-gunned. This creates Mogadishu clusters, where forces without the proper equipment and support incur a larger percentage of casualties than normal. Blackhawk Down, brought to you by Bill Clinton.

The tiny pin pricks of war theory, seems to be in vogue with Presidents who are Democrats. There is no better example than the Vietnam War, where LBJ’s bumbling, incompetent management of the war led to constant pin prick approaches to fighting the conflict. Like Obama, the Johnson White House also developed a set of rules of engagement that precluded the US military from dealing a final and fatal blow to the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese. Have no doubt the US could have blown Hanoi off the planet if the Johnson administration had allowed the US military to do its job.

Even with their hands tied, the US Army and the Marines never lost a major battle in the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile in the Obama Zone, the man responsible for the current pin pricks of war operational tempo once again rallied the world to a cause today in Paris. When it comes to climate change, Obama is Vince Lombardi. When it comes to fighting ISIS, Obama is Liberace.

Unfortunately, the pep rally wasn’t for the war with ISIS, but the war with weather.

Once again a plethora of motivational platitudes were reiterated to the world. “The earth is in peril.” “We must come together.” “We must act now.” “It’s time to fight.”

Unfortunately, no one in Paris was referencing fighting the madmen in turbans. Although, Prince Charles did state that terrorism was caused by the heat and drought.

The fight ladies and gentlemen is not against drought, but against ISIS. That should be the main effort. Imagine FDR having a fireside chat in World War II and telling the nation the real threat was melting snow in the Alps. The country and the world would have thought he was nuts.

Need I say more?

These elitists speak of rainfall amounts and solar panels while dining on escargot and sucking down Dom Perignon as people in coal country make ends meet and shop at Walmart.

To the global ignorant elite, terror is caused by climate change.

No, terror is caused by radical Islam. Radical jihadis in cold, green, wet Sweden are just as nuts as they are in the sweltering, drought-ridden heat of Baghdad.

The message is clear from Obama; the Powell Doctrine will be applied to the climate, not to ISIS. The war with ISIS will continue to be fought by an invisible coalition with no leader. US military operations against ISIS will continue to be tiny pin pricks of war.

The White House needs to study their history. They need to understand that their unwillingness to commit to the war will only lead to more death and more destruction in the end.

History, Mr. Obama, does indeed repeat itself.

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