— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) August 12, 2014
Though President Obama has said the US will not allow ISIS to takeover Iraq, Army General William Mayville reported yesterday that current US airstrikes will not stop ISIS. According to the general the airstrikes can, at best, prevent ISIS from entering Erbil and provide protection for the Yazidi minority sect. The strikes will only have a “temporary effect.”
So the US will not allow ISIS to win but also admits the bombing campaign will not stop ISIS from winning. Sounds like there is a Plan B written down somewhere in DC with the words ground troops in it.
General Mayville also confirmed that the Pentagon would be sending weapons and equipment to the Kurds which the CIA is already doing. The hope clearly being that with US air cover the risk of having those US weapons captured by ISIS, as has happened with the Iraqi National Army, will be manageable.
Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr., the director of operations for the Joint Staff, said the United States has mounted 17 U.S. airstrikes over four days. But he used words such as “temporary effect” and “slowed” to describe the impact of those strikes.
“These strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria,” Mayville said, using the government’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State, which also is called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. “In the immediate areas where we have focused our strikes, we’ve had a very temporary effect and we may have blunted some tactical decisions to move in those directions, further east to Irbil.”
Is the Obama Administration really going to just bomb a few areas in northern Iraq while ISIS takes over the rest of the country? Hard to believe.
The US hopes are now pinned on a new government in Baghdad figuring out a way to reintegrate the Sunnis after Maliki purged them. Haidar al-Abadi, recently named the new Prime Minister by Iraq’s president, has a lot of work to do. Work that will not even be started should Maliki and company be able to prevent the appointment holding.
The US is back in Iraq, with no end in sight.