And it would have done LBJ proud. Now the US is taking potshots at ISIS terrorists threatening the Haditha Dam in Iraq’s al Anbar province. This dam on the Euphrates River backs up a large reservoir and holds a major hydropower plant.
The US’ first move was to take potshots at the terrorists who had trapped Yazidis, for humanitarian reasons.
That was followed, ad hoc, by US potshots at the terrorists who were holding the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River, with that dam’s even larger reservoir and hydropower plant. Those potshots were in support of the Kurds’ Peshmerga who were pushing the terrorists off the dam, and these potshots also were for “humanitarian reasons.”
And now this drift.
Of course these three efforts are entirely appropriate as far as they go, but they aren’t serious efforts to attack the ISIS terrorists, nor are they guided by any sort of plan. They constitute only a drift of mission, reminiscent of Vietnam, authorized in their limited form by an American President who “doesn’t have a strategy, yet.”
These efforts, to succeed, must be part of a much larger effort centered on a concentrated, heavy air campaign both against ISIS’ infrastructure (along with an economic campaign against ISIS’ economic infrastructure) and in direct air support of Kurds’ (and Awakened Sunni) efforts on the ground. This air campaign, to itself succeed, must be accompanied by serious arming of the Kurds (and Awakened Sunni), including heavy weapons and man-portable antiaircraft weapons; ammunition; medical supplies; and training—bypassing, if necessary, an Iraqi government reluctant to let an indigenous population have the wherewithal to defend itself, even if that wherewithal worked to the greater good of Iraq as a whole.