Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The United States has massively increased the air campaign against ISIS in Mosul.

A US C-17 unloads supplies at Camp Taji, Iraq. Marine Corps photo/Air Force Times.

The United States has massively and dramatically increased the air campaign against ISIS in Iraq. Air Force Times. Combined, all coalition forces have dropped 500 bombs a week over Mosul in March and one week hit 600 bombs. Fighters and bombers from the collation, including French Rafale fighters, Belgian F-16's and British Typhoons, along with the full arsenal of US forces, have been deployed. This uptick in bombing has caused an increase of civilian casualties, including the deaths of 200 in Mosul that may have been cause by US forces. The vast majority of airstrikes, 90% or more, have been close air support while the rest has been "battlefield shaping" targeting ISIS infrastructure, commanders and weapons. Those close air support strikes have often been at very close range, sometimes as close as 200 meters. 

My Comment:
As usual the mainstream media is completely misleading people on this story. The only thing they are talking about is the 100-200 civilians allegedly killed in Mosul. Though a US general said that there was a chance that the US was responsible, that isn't the real story. Civilian casualties are inevitable, especially when ISIS is using them as human shields and rigging buildings to explode. It's certainly tragic when civilians die, but it's not the most important thing happening right now. 

So what should the media be focusing on? The fact that Donald Trump's plan on ISIS is working in Iraq. The battle for Mosul is going much quicker then I thought it would. I had figured it wouldn't be liberated until Winter at the earliest. It seems that it could be liberated as soon as Summer now. And US and coalition air support is a large part of that. Of course the media is loathe to give anything close to credit for Donald Trump for anything good, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. 

And we should always remember, the best way to prevent civilian casualties it to win the war as fast as possible. Though sending airstrikes down on residences that may occasionally still have civilians in them being used as human shields, what would really increase the casualties would be slowing down the battle. It's better to accidentally kill a few hundred civilians right now then to see thousands of them die in brutal house to house fighting.

This is something that people on the left either don't understand or only pretend to not understand. Everyone should know that civilian casualties are an inevitable part of any conflict and while we should never go out of our way to kill civilians it's impractical and impossible to keep every single civilian alive. People that argue otherwise either have no idea how combat works or are playing politics. Period. 

I also want to point out that the Iraqi military is much more effective when it has air support. It was originally trained under the assumption that US and coalition air support would always be there. Though the Iraqi Army has been destroyed and rebuilt in the battle against ISIS, which happened when that air support didn't come, enough soldiers survived that the battle doctrine is essentially the same. 

We saw this earlier in the battles to liberate Fallujah and Ramadi and we are now seeing it in Mosul. Iraqi forces fight much better when they have US air support and they are much less likely to flee when they know they have help. It obviously makes sense that they would fight harder if they have help, so the real question is why we though the Iraqi Army could stand on their own without our help or large air force of their own. When ISIS finally is defeated in Mosul, we will have to ask ourselves the same question that we should have asked before the terror group arose... 


  1. Nice write up. You are correct that the best way to prevent civilian casualties is by ending the fighting sooner.