Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Resolve May Be Inherent, But We Need to Define Objectives and Plans

War is focused violence to achieve an objective. Ideally a good objective.

If we have no real objective and no real plan to reach an objective if we had one, then the micro-managing bombing campaign called Inherent Resolve that we are undertaking in Iraq and Syria against ISIL is just bombing brown people (admittedly very bad brown people), right?

Because this doesn't inspire confidence that we are actually engaged in a war:

BOB WOODWARD: If you talk to people in the White House and the military, I think there is agreement that John McCain is right and Gen. Flynn is right: there is no strategy. They have not sat down and said 'this is where we want to go and this is how we want to do it.' And the measure of that, as we get in the weeds here...

People in the White House are micromanaging the tactical situation on a daily and weekly basis. That is not their job. They have to do strategic planning, and say what do we want to accomplish in the next year.

CHRIS WALLACE: Are you saying that [National Security Adviser] Susan Rice is telling the generals what to do?

Our apparent strategy against ISIL is reasonable, I think, if--and this is a big "if"--the ultimate goal of our Syria portion of the strategy is to build up non-jihadi rebels to provide an alternative to ISIL for replacing Assad who must--as President Obama once insisted--leave office; and if--and this is a more likely "if"--we provide forward air controllers to focus our air power in support of friendly (Iraqi, Kurdish, "Awakened" Sunni Arab Iraqis, and Coalition) ground forces.

Apparently we haven't really translated a general statement that we have to defeat ISIL into a real plan of action; with our top leadership in the White House preferring to be the most highly paid 2nd lieutenants and NCOs on the planet by immersing themselves in tactical decisions.

If we aren't conducting focused violence to achieve a good objective, what are we doing? Is this just another time-limited, scope-limited military action?

If George W. Bush was our president, I'm sure our Left would be asserting that our president just likes to bomb brown people.