Congress has uncovered some shocking information about the Obama administration’s strategy for fighting ISIS: during 75% of the missions flown by US pilots against the Islamic State, they were expressly prohibited from dropping their loads on the enemy.
This staggering lack of action stems from President Obama’s unwillingness to entertain even minimal civilian causalities in the battle against ISIS, telling military officials who said that there is always collateral damage in war, “No, you don’t understand. I want no civilian casualities. Zero.”
This incomprehensible policy came to light in a hearing arranged by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA). Grilling administration and military officials, Royce voiced his confusion over how we have been bombing ISIS for over a year now, and yet the group seems more active than ever.
After learning the reason why that was the case, he could only express disdain. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit,” he told the committee.
Obama’s labored avoidance of civilian causalities not only jeopardizes the success of our mission, but it also leaves the issue of ISIS for other nations to handle. The French and the Russians notably, have not nearly the level of restrictions on engaging ISIS as the administration has imposed on American forces.
The results of these less stringent rules of engagement speak for themselves, as Free Beacon shows:
“Since the beginning of the year, more than 22,000 munitions were dropped on Islamic State targets during more than 8,000 sorties, according to information provided to the Free Beacon by the Defense Department.
Some experts questioned whether the administration is handing off portions of the battle to other nations.
‘The French airstrikes have been billed as a significant uptick in the battle against the Islamic State; preliminary data indicate that this is not the case,’ said Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism expert at the U.S. Treasury Department. ‘It appears that the U.S. is simply allowing France to strike many of the targets that would usually be reserved for the U.S. and some of its coalition allies. In other words, this appears to be a redistribution of daily targets in the ongoing campaign, and not a significant change.’
These strikes have forced the Islamic State to evacuate at least 20 to 25 percent of the territories it held one year ago in both Iraq and Syria, according to the Pentagon.
Attacks have focused on the Islamic State’s “staging areas, fighting position, and key leaders,” as well as its “oil distribution chain,” according to the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, a poll released Thursday found that at least 70 percent of American support an expanded fight against the Islamic State, including sending U.S. troops to the region.”
Never thought I’d say this, but maybe we should follow the lead of the French!