The Obama Administration and its limited coalition of Arab (Muslim) Allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday, launching cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the Radical Muslims of ISIS/ISIL, targeting their de facto capital of Raqqa, which sits on the almost-nonexistent Iraq border.
The New York Times reports that
American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State. American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control. Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.
“I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, using an alternate name for the Islamic State.
“Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time,” Admiral Kirby said in a statement Monday night in Washington. “The decision to conduct these strikes was made earlier today by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate.”
The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign. Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria.
The strikes came less than two weeks after Mr. Obama announced in an address to the nation that he was authorizing an expansion of the military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Unlike American strikes in Iraq over the past month, which have been small-bore bombings of mostly individual Islamic State targets — patrol boats and trucks — the salvo on Tuesday in Syria was the beginning of what was expected to be a sustained, hourslong bombardment at targets in the militant headquarters in Raqqa and on the border.
The strikes began after years of debate within the Obama administration about whether the United States should intervene militarily or should avoid another entanglement in a complex war in the Middle East. But the Islamic State controls a broad swath of land across both Iraq and Syria.
Defense officials said the goal of the air campaign was to deprive the Islamic State of the safe havens it enjoys in Syria. The administration’s ultimate goal, as set forth in the address Mr. Obama delivered on Sept. 10, is to recruit a global coalition to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militants, even as Mr. Obama warned that “eradicating a cancer” like the Islamic State was a long-term challenge that would put some American troops at risk.
American warplanes had been conducting aerial surveillance flights in Syria for more than a month in anticipation of airstrikes, but it had been unclear just how much intelligence the Pentagon had managed to gather about the movements of the Sunni militant group in Syria. Unlike Iraq, whose airspace is controlled by the United States, Syria has its own aerial defense system, so American planes have had to rely on sometimes jamming the country’s defenses when crossing into Syria.
The strikes in Syria occurred without the approval of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whose government, unlike Iraq, did not ask the United States for help against the Sunni militant group. Mr. Obama has repeatedly called on Mr. Assad to step down because of chemical weapons attacks and violence against his own people, and defense officials said Mr. Assad had not been told in advance of the strikes.
This past weekend, a high-ranking military veteran advised that Obama’s military strategy of “waging war by remote control” against the Muslim Terrorist Organization of ISIS/ISIL will not be successful.
The Daily Caller has the story…
The man who was the top Marine general from 2006 until his retirement in 2010 says President Barack Obama’s strategy to defeat the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is doomed to fail.
“I don’t think the president’s plan has a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding,” retired Marine General James Conway, who served as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps during the end of the Bush administration and the beginning of the Obama administration, said at the Maverick PAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Friday, according to a source in attendance.
Maverick PAC has described itself as a super PAC ”dedicated to inspiring the next-generation of conservatives, electing a new generation of conservative leaders, and sharing common goals and interests that will help shape the future of America.”
The source said Conway’s major concern was that the U.S. did not have a force on the ground in Syria it could rely on, like the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq. Though the Obama administration believes it can support what it says are moderate rebel forces in Syria to aid in the fight against ISIS, many critics warn that there may be no truly moderate force in the country of any significant strength.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps also serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the 2003 Iraq War, Conway led the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
Obama’s strategy to degrade and destroy ISIS has come under fire in recent days for other reasons as well, especially for preemptively taking off the table the possibility of using American combat troops to achieve the mission.“You just don’t take anything off the table up front, which it appears the administration has tried to do,” retired Gen. James Mattis, who served as head of Central Command from 2010 until his retirement in 2013, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
“Specifically, if this threat to our nation is determined to be as significant as I believe it is, we may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American ‘boots on the ground,’” he added. “If a brigade of our paratroopers or a battalion landing team of our Marines would strengthen our allies at a key juncture and create havoc/humiliation for our adversaries, then we should do what is necessary with our forces that exist for that very purpose.”
Other Americans have also chimed in on Obama’s “Golf and Awwww” Military Strategy.
The following excerpt is from an article published on 6/17/14, in the Wall Street Journal, written By Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz.
…It is time the president and his allies faced some hard truths: America remains at war, and withdrawing troops from the field of battle while our enemies stay in the fight does not “end” wars. Weakness and retreat are provocative. U.S. withdrawal from the world is disastrous and puts our own security at risk.
Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent and they present a security threat not seen since the Cold War. Defeating them will require a strategy—not a fantasy. It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts—not empty misleading rhetoric. It will require rebuilding America’s military capacity—reversing the Obama policies that have weakened our armed forces and reduced our ability to influence events around the world.
American freedom will not be secured by empty threats, meaningless red lines, leading from behind, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies, or apologizing for our great nation—all hallmarks to date of the Obama doctrine. Our security, and the security of our friends around the world, can only be guaranteed with a fundamental reversal of the policies of the past six years.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, “If history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.” President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.
I remember when Obama was announcing that we had left Iraq. If he had been wearing a vest, the buttons would have been popping off, as he spoke.
Sho’ ’nuff, “The Lightbringer” had fulfilled his promise to his fellow travelers and withdrawn all American Forces out of Iraq, leaving only the bureaucrats in the American Embassy there, to babysit a fundamentalist Islamic country, made up of Sunnis and Shiites, who had been warring among themselves for centuries, and, were now, trying to figure out how to make things work in a brand spanking new form of government, which they had never tried before: a democracy.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
Obama got us out alright, blindly following a proposed schedule which President Bush had created years before, not taking into account the actual situation “on the ground”, “in country”.
As we found out in Vietnam, wars are best prosecuted in the Theater of War by our Military Leaders, NOT IN WASHINGTON, D.C. BY CLUELESS POLITICIANS.
Liberals like the President, trumpet their horns as “the smartest people in the room” over and over again, only to find out, the hard way, that they overestimated their own intelligence.
Remember “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?”
If this escalates into another Vietnam, we will pay for his vanity with American lives…and that cost will be way too high.
“The best laid plans of mice and men oft-times go awry.”
Especially premature evacuations.
Until He Comes,