About Those 'Significant' Airstrikes on ISIS–We Ran Out Of Ammo On One Of Them

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 30, 2015 2:20 PM
About Those 'Significant' Airstrikes on ISIS–We Ran Out Of Ammo On One Of Them
So, remember those airstrikes last weekend that were deemed somewhat significant since we destroyed close to 500 tanker trucks? CBS News reported that the U.S. hadn’t gone after the Islamic State’s source of revenue for fear of killing civilian truckers. Yet, in at least one of the two strikes carried out, our aircraft actually ran out of ammo:
American A-10 and C-130 warplanes targeted a group of about 300 trucks near Abu Kamal, in Syria. Given that the Islamic State is thought to have just over 1,000 trucks in its entire fleet, the group of 300 represented a huge target for U.S. planes. At a Pentagon news conference last Wednesday, reporters wanted to know why American forces did not take out more than 116 trucks. Why not all 300, or something close to that? A U.S. official said the American attackers simply ran out of ammunition. "There were 300, I think, to begin with, and then you hit 116. Why didn't you go back?" a reporter asked Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Steve Warren. "Frankly, the aircraft expended 24 500-pound bombs, and all of their ammunition," Warren answered. "So they — they shot everything they had and then they had to go home."

France and Russia are taking the lead in the fight against ISIS. And placed the Obama White House in a position where it embodies (yet again) the criticism that this administration either leads from behind or is outright aloof on how to lead an effort such as this. Then again, our president isn't concerned about “pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning,” which is contrary to what he outlined in his 2015 national security strategy. Oh, the irony.   

Just like Iraq, this president is looking to “run out the clock.” President Obama probably knows that ground forces will be needed to truly finish off ISIS. It’ll be smaller in scope, but he’s sure as hell doesn’t want to be in office when that decision is made, even if delaying means exacerbating a national security issue for us and our allies. The same logic could be tagged to the Iran deal. Commentators have written previously that all this deal truly does is delay a military decision; something that Obama desperately wants while he’s still in office. The Free Beacon reported that the Obama administration blocks 75 percent of airstrike requests. Why? Again, it’s out of fear of civilian casualties. It’s a classic move to prevent further escalation, or the horrific notion that our military might actually get the job done. And even with those protocols, the situation has already escalated; Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter. As a result, an emergency NATO meeting in Brussels has been called later this afternoon. Brussels itself remains on high alert for a possible terror attack–and France is still recovering from their horrific ISIS-led Paris attack on November 13. At the same time, France bombed the ISIS capital of Al-Raqqah, and they’ve declared to increase their involvement in the region after this “act of war.”

As for U.S. strategy, we’ve seen a $500 million rebel training program collapse; a president unwilling to bomb the source of the enemy’s revenue, and our plan to capture the ISIS capital beginning to suffer the same fate as the training program since we really don’t know what happened to the 50 tons of ammo we airdropped in last month. No wonder only 23 percent of Americans feel we have a cogent strategy to defeat ISIS.