“Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”
Something else has to give - the number of strikes going on is very low even though there may be lots of sorties gathering intelligence from the air.
“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.
President Pinprick strikes again! Apparently Al Asad air base, which is near some of the areas the jihadists control, is going to be the headquarters for this effort--such as it is. It's far too limited and will be far too slow to do much good. We cannot afford to take our sweet time fighting these people with measures like this, which will take six months or more to bear fruit. The more they appear to be the ragtag force fighting the mighty U.S. to a standstill, thanks to the power of their faith in Allah, the more appeal they have to would-be jihadist SOB's around the world. The U.S. has to slap them down, quickly and strongly, in a dramatic way that shows the world how weak they really are.
I have thought, and still do, that a good place to start might be to drive them out of Mosul. I am by no means a military expert, so I am hoping to see if any of them have suggested this. I see several reasons to do it. Mosul is such a large city, situated in such an oil-rich area, that conceding it to several thousand jihadists gives them a lot--too much--to crow about. Every day they continue to control it makes them look strong, and the U.S. weak. It is also fairly close to Irbil and the Kurdish lands, where the U.S. could safely station however much in the way of aircraft, artillery, armor, or other weapons might be needed, as well as search and rescue forces and reinforcements. These would all have the advantage of not having to travel far to the target, where the jihadists, in contrast, would probably have to try to bring in any supplies and reinforcements from far away, exposed all the time to air attack. Also, the Kurds strongly want to fight these people, and they might provide enough well-trained soldiers that when combined with the skilled, reliable Iraqi units that remain, with U.S. special forces training and directing them all, a heavily armed force strong enough to make sure of the job could be put together. This might be ten thousand or so soldiers, with very heavy weapons closely supporting them.
Unpleasant as it sounds, it might actually improve the overall situation if some locals were killed in this effort. First, I suspect many of them are either collaborating with the jihadists or have turned a blind eye to them, confident that the U.S. is so over-civilized and so infatuated with the dubious strategy of winning the hearts and minds of people, many of whom will smile but detest us regardless, that it would never send heavy bombers over the city. But the U.S. didn't hesitate to do that many hundreds of times during WWII, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. I have never believed that a force so small could hold such a large population captive, no matter how much terrorism it used. So it's far from clear that most of whatever residents might be killed in the process of routing these people from Mosul would be the "innocent civilians" we are constantly reminded of the need to protect. And it's certain that the residents of Tikrit, Ramadi, Raqqa, or other cities the jihadists are infesting would quickly reconsider how hospitable they wanted to continue to be to them. Once they were driven out of cities, they would be much easier to fix and kill.