Americas top air campaign planner lights the way....'
Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula (Ret.), architect of the Desert Storm & Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan 20010 air wars, explains how to cripple ISIS from on high. So far the application of US air power v. ISIS has been, he writes, purely tactical. A strategic campaign is needed:
"The self-proclaimed “Islamic State (IS)” presents the world with a moral crisis. IS cannot be reasoned with— they must be terminated. So let’s define that as our desired strategic end state and move forward rapidly to create a coalition, and a campaign plan that will succeed in accomplishing that. The operational objectives are 1) halt any further expansion of IS influence in the region of Iraq and Syria; 2) paralyze IS leadership, command, and control elements, and 3) render IS operations ineffective.
"To accomplish these objectives we need to begin with an aggressive air campaign — where airpower is applied like a thunderstorm, not a drizzle; 24/7 constant over-watch, with force used against every move of IS forces and personnel. We’ve done this before — Desert Storm where the opening 24 hours witnessed over 2.500 aircraft missions focused on a simultaneous attack across the breadth and depth of the entire country of Iraq—an attack from which Saddam Hussein’s forces never recovered. IS won’t require that level of effort.
"A more applicable analogy is the dramatically successful first three months of OEF where the United States provided airpower that in conjunction with indigenous forces on the ground—the Northern Alliance—allowing us to meet our critical national security objectives in less than 90 days. That combination resulted in the removal of the Taliban Regime; the establishment of a government friendly to the United States, and the elimination of the Al Qaeda terrorist training camps. We should have departed Afghanistan at that time with a warning of a return engagement if needed."
Boots on the ground are rarely needed for air-strike targeting, DD notes, as today's aircraft usually can do targeting from the cockpit.
Bottom Line. Take a tip from America's air-war master, and get our aerial machine going 24/7!
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, Conservative Politics