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August 29, 2014

"How a Real Air War Could Demolish ISIS"

At least for right now, ISIS is practically defenseless against air attack

Of course, that could change.


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A couple of problems with that article.

1. It assumes that the ISIS massed forces and armaments would stay 'in the field' where they can be easily destroyed by air power. In reality, as soon as air strikes begin they would move straight into the nearest civilian city or town of any size (no more than a couple of hours away). Unless the US attacked simultaneously with every single drone, cruise missile and aircraft it can muster in theatre and achieves close to 100% success within a couple of hours max, only the 'first wave' would get any results without inflicting massive civilian casualties.... and judging by how long the initial air campaigns lasted for in the first and second gulf wars I can't imagine there is any chance of 'getting the job done' within a couple of hours.

2. The idea of neighbouring Muslim states using their air power to attack ISIS is totally unrealistic. Those states will never attack ISIS except within their own borders as a self-defence measure against insurgency/rebels (funny how the west will characterize non-government fighters as 'insurgents' if they supporting the current regime, or 'rebels' if the regime being attacked isn't in favour with the west eg. Syria). If any Arab state was stupid enough to launch an attack against ISIS they would simply be signing the death warrant of their own government, as a fundamentalist Islamic insurgency would surely topple their regime within weeks, if not days!

It never ceases to amaze me how simplistically many people still view events in the middle east.

Craig Newmark

O.K., maybe you'll like this better: "If You Want To Stop ISIS, Here Is What It Will Take"

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