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RE: Are air bombings ineffective?

 
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RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/4/2016 2:57:47 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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The air war against the Islamic State is politically effective. The President has stated publicly at least twice that he doesn't have a plan to defeat the IS, with air power or otherwise. This Administration will continue to report launching hundreds of air strikes and skip the part where most do not even engage the enemy due to possible civilian casualties. The strategy so far is that the IS takes a city, loots the banks, butchers non-Sunnis, enslaves the women and destroys historical and religious shrines. We bomb the city until the Iraqi forces with the help of the Administration's new friend Iran (the #1 state sponsor of terror) can retake it. Then the IS takes another city and the strategy continues.

We are supposed to be saving the people of Syria and Iraq from about 30k IS combatants. If this force occupied Hawaii, no one would advocate sending in 100 B-52s to bomb the state flat. This is really not an option. Short of that, surgical air strikes to slowly wear down the IS are severely hampered. If we blow up oil wells that provide the enemy with black market petro-dollars, then we create an environmental disaster. Our own intel people have reported that when we bomb one IS commander, then he is rapidly replaced with another thug who is even more brutal in order to justify his promotion. These air strikes to prune IS leaders are simply using Darwinism to evolve the most brutal IS leadership and otherwise have little effect. Indescriminately bombing populated areas with the reasoning that some IS fighters would be killed along with the civilians would recruit more fanatics than we would remove. Remember that the citizens of Aleppo are rebels as far as Assad is concerned. That's why the Russian bombing strategy makes no distinction about the civilians. This is an autocracy making an example to coerce other rebel cities to submit. The Assad regime is essentially a death cult, survive or die, with no concern for long term consequences.

Overall, if IS combatants are using mortars to win a battle and tactical airpower can take out the mortars, then airpower is immediately effective...as long as friendly ground troops win said battle. I told my soldiers a quarter century ago that Iraq would eventually become Little Iran, Sunniland and Kurdistan. This is essentially the case now. Shiite forces aren't going to die to liberate Sunnis. The Kurds our bombers are helping fight IS terror are also being bombed by our NATO ally Turkey because they are a base for Kurdish terrorists in that country. Sunnis are most likely not going to get much help from us, because the Administration's new friend Iran wouldn't want that. Thus airpower cannot be militarily effective without a combined arms strategy for victory. Syria and Iraq are failed states where IS bases can train recruits that have already spread cells to many other countries in the region. These cells will exploit the continuing chaos of the "Arab Spring" to gain new bases and more recruits. Bombing Syria and Iraq won't affect that.


< Message edited by Poopyhead -- 10/4/2016 3:44:00 PM >


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RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/4/2016 8:25:03 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

When frittered hither and yon, the heavy bomber force was less effective. Particularly questionable was the notion of breaking the enemy will to fight. History will show that was largely rubbish.

So Japan didn't throw the towel becouse it lost will to fight by (nuclear) bombings of the Superfortresses?

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RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/4/2016 8:48:41 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

When frittered hither and yon, the heavy bomber force was less effective. Particularly questionable was the notion of breaking the enemy will to fight. History will show that was largely rubbish.

So Japan didn't throw the towel becouse it lost will to fight by (nuclear) bombings of the Superfortresses?


Ultimately, Japan lost the will to fight because it had been beaten (badly) and was shown clear and present indications that the beatings would go on until the end. These beat-downs took the form of the liquidation of their fleet, loss of 'home' territory on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, loss of their far-flung Imperial grabbings in the DEI, the firebombing of their cities and factories and the novelty of the Soviets entering the war against them in late 1945. The Atomic bombs were a part of that endgame.

Delivery of the Atomic bombs would have been impossible without capturing ground (the Marianas) the 'hard way'. But I believe that Atomic bombs, while necessary additive parts, were insufficient for the surrender of the Japanese taken individually.

Mostly my critique was regarding the strategic bombing campaign in Europe. The vindictive nature of much of the city firebombing campaign relied heavily on an assumption that burning out major population centers would decrease the resolve of the civilians and military forces on the German side. While it was an interesting theory, it has been put to bed.

'Terror bombing' campaigns, be they 'The Blitz', Allied firestorms over the Reich or Zeppelin attacks over London are probably not worth the expenditure of men and material if one's stated goal is demoralization and capitulation.

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RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/4/2016 10:33:57 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Mostly my critique was regarding the strategic bombing campaign in Europe. The vindictive nature of much of the city firebombing campaign relied heavily on an assumption that burning out major population centers would decrease the resolve of the civilians and military forces on the German side. While it was an interesting theory, it has been put to bed.


The firebombing or (British) carpet bombing was not necessarily vindictive. Actually, if you want to destroy an industrial state (as in WW2) you have two options:

a) you hit the target (American doctrine in Europe)
b) you carpet bomb the whole thing (British doctrine -and American in the Pacific) thus disrupting workers' lives = destruction of homes, public transport, roads, water, sewers, heat, electricity etcetera etcetera etcetera. An indirect approach that is.

Given that a postwar survey proved few bombs actually hit the target (less than 25% or even less than that, I just can't remember), the indirect approach was perhaps more effective.

Also note that the "precise" daily bombing in fact was carpet bombing (misses that is) the industrial districts, in the end sort of achieving b)

Which is why I asked on my first post "define target". You can miss a key industrial plant but if you disrupt the workers's (of that factory) lives, you are in fact achieving similar results

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Post #: 34
RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/4/2016 11:20:31 PM   
Anthropoid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Poopyhead

The air war against the Islamic State is politically effective. The President has stated publicly at least twice that he doesn't have a plan to defeat the IS, with air power or otherwise. This Administration will continue to report launching hundreds of air strikes and skip the part where most do not even engage the enemy due to possible civilian casualties. The strategy so far is that the IS takes a city, loots the banks, butchers non-Sunnis, enslaves the women and destroys historical and religious shrines. We bomb the city until the Iraqi forces with the help of the Administration's new friend Iran (the #1 state sponsor of terror) can retake it. Then the IS takes another city and the strategy continues.

We are supposed to be saving the people of Syria and Iraq from about 30k IS combatants. If this force occupied Hawaii, no one would advocate sending in 100 B-52s to bomb the state flat. This is really not an option. Short of that, surgical air strikes to slowly wear down the IS are severely hampered. If we blow up oil wells that provide the enemy with black market petro-dollars, then we create an environmental disaster. Our own intel people have reported that when we bomb one IS commander, then he is rapidly replaced with another thug who is even more brutal in order to justify his promotion. These air strikes to prune IS leaders are simply using Darwinism to evolve the most brutal IS leadership and otherwise have little effect. Indescriminately bombing populated areas with the reasoning that some IS fighters would be killed along with the civilians would recruit more fanatics than we would remove. Remember that the citizens of Aleppo are rebels as far as Assad is concerned. That's why the Russian bombing strategy makes no distinction about the civilians. This is an autocracy making an example to coerce other rebel cities to submit. The Assad regime is essentially a death cult, survive or die, with no concern for long term consequences.

Overall, if IS combatants are using mortars to win a battle and tactical airpower can take out the mortars, then airpower is immediately effective...as long as friendly ground troops win said battle. I told my soldiers a quarter century ago that Iraq would eventually become Little Iran, Sunniland and Kurdistan. This is essentially the case now. Shiite forces aren't going to die to liberate Sunnis. The Kurds our bombers are helping fight IS terror are also being bombed by our NATO ally Turkey because they are a base for Kurdish terrorists in that country. Sunnis are most likely not going to get much help from us, because the Administration's new friend Iran wouldn't want that. Thus airpower cannot be militarily effective without a combined arms strategy for victory. Syria and Iraq are failed states where IS bases can train recruits that have already spread cells to many other countries in the region. These cells will exploit the continuing chaos of the "Arab Spring" to gain new bases and more recruits. Bombing Syria and Iraq won't affect that.



Well said Poopyhead +1. Its not easy, and certainly not as rosy as the politicians seem to like to imply. Just once, I'd like to hear one of them say "Well this whole thing is a real **** swirl and there really isn't squat we can do about it unless the majority of citizens in the West are ready to commit to decades of all out war and occupation . . ." I suppose there is one candidate who might be so glib . . . if he wasn't ranting about building walls

One question though: do you reckon that the "30,000" combatants figure is accurate? There seems to be a huge range in those estimates and given what I know about the demographics of the Sunni world (mostly isolated pockets who feel they are under siege by either the West or Shia, and with disproportionate numbers of younger and disenfranchised people [most notably the ones with testicles dangling between their legs]) I would think that IS would be pretty appealing to a sizeable fraction of that population, which makes me willing to consider the higher estimates as having some plausibility.

Can intell methods produce decent empirical estimates on these sorts of things? I find that surprising, given there are covert IS cells [tiny perhaps, but they must have sizeable numbers of "collaborators" supporting them in some communities?] apparently operating throughout many nations.

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Post #: 35
RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/5/2016 12:21:23 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Joby Warrick, the author of "Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS", uses that figure of actual combatants on the ground in IS territoy. I saw him on CSPAN describing his book as a history of ISIS, so I feel comfortable echoing 30k. Most of the world's population don't really care about the West, because people in the West don't care about them. The IS uses social media extremely well to give Sunnis a reason to hate us. The scolar Baghdadi in particular uses hadiths to justify the brutality of the IS. They even have apps for accessing IS propoganda on iPhones. In Asymmetric War, the child you give humanitarian relief today may be tomorrow's terrorist.

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Post #: 36
RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/6/2016 2:27:48 PM   
Jim D Burns


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Ever since the political cease fire ended the fighting in Korea without actually ending the war, war has changed for the west. Today every war is a war of political rules imposed on our fighting men and we basically cannot win our wars because of them.

When the enemy knows you're not allowed to do x because of a politicians fear of voters, then the enemy will use x against you. And our enemies have been using x to survive and defeat us for the past 60-70 years.

Until the west learns to take the gloves off again in war the way we did in WWII, we will always lose our wars.

Because of our politically imposed rules, the only way our overwhelming air forces can be used to any effect is with men on the ground designating targets. And we know rule y won't allow that due to some politicians fears...

Jim

< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 10/6/2016 2:30:50 PM >


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Post #: 37
RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/6/2016 2:59:17 PM   
charlie0311

 

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Hi Jim, your stuff is spot on. There is more,ie, the influence of the mass media and popular culture on the voters. Then the state of the culture itself, basically disintegrating right before our eyes.

I know this is political, Erik/Ian you guys could just ban the flammers not the entire subject.

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Post #: 38
RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/6/2016 3:51:53 PM   
fvianello


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Strategic Bombing, not to be confused with Close Air Support, is not particularly effective in asymmetric conflicts and COIN operations.

During Vietnam war, it was decently effective against NVA but totally useless against Vietcongs. Same in Afghanistan, where Soviets planes bombed the Mujahideen for 10 years without any result.

In a symmetric conflict, it was and would still be lethal. Good examples are Desert Storm 1 & 2.


< Message edited by HanBarca -- 10/6/2016 3:54:46 PM >


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RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/6/2016 5:52:52 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HanBarca

Strategic Bombing, not to be confused with Close Air Support, is not particularly effective in asymmetric conflicts and COIN operations.

During Vietnam war, it was decently effective against NVA but totally useless against Vietcongs. Same in Afghanistan, where Soviets planes bombed the Mujahideen for 10 years without any result.

In a symmetric conflict, it was and would still be lethal. Good examples are Desert Storm 1 & 2.



Again, spot on mate.

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RE: Are air bombings ineffective? - 10/12/2016 4:20:58 PM   
wings7


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A bump to get rid of the spam bot name.

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