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  #11  
Old 21st November 2015, 18:51
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Dear Paul,

Thank you for the various bits of information on the state of today's USAF and state of the art munitions guidance. It appears that my number of available strategic bombers was too high, being only 171 as of 2014. Gen. Deptula's assessment, backed by Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff, reflects my concerns about a very ancient fleet of aircraft and the distinct likelihood, if pressed, that wear and tear will significantly lower their already low numbers. I knew that there was an effort to retire the A-10 Warthog, so I was pleased to see that it is still in service and is being used in the current conflict. It is a very unique aircraft with unique capabilities.

Given the rather low weapons release rates per sortie, either we need better intelligence or we need to change tactics, e.g., accept more collateral damage.

A question. If ISIS doesn't have access to a refinery, where does it get its fuel from?

Regards,
Richard
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  #12  
Old 21st November 2015, 19:15
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
What I would like to see:

Europe, USA and Russia and China all pool knowledge and air power - and act as one good force to defeat evil IS. Then perhaps there would be greater unity between West and East, for the good of us all.

And I would like to see the non-terrorist Muslims come out on the streets in Britain and Europe to denounce terrorism.
Hello Brian,

Pooling air power with Russia and China is not a possibility. For Russia, see how it uses air power indiscriminately in Syria - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aesD9IOyPoY and how it deploys aircraft on the occupied territory of its neighbour - http://europe.newsweek.com/russia-te...-crimea-332670 . For China, see the nature of its military modernisation, directed at the US - https://twq.elliott.gwu.edu/sites/tw...h-Erickson.pdf .

As for European Muslims, here is a story which shows just how inconsistent and duplicitous attitudes to air power are in Europe - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5218036.stm .

To return to Richard's original intention, historical analogies and experiences with air power, I would like to remind members that RAF air power was decisively and quite unnecessarily weakened in the years preceding the Second World War. Much the same is happening now.

Warm regards,

Paul
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  #13  
Old 21st November 2015, 19:45
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Keeping to principles (all highly arguable):
  • The first function of air power is reconnaissance — identifying targets. Roaming around looking for something to attack reflects either lack of such intelligence, the desire to be seen to be doing something (anything), or having more aircraft than you know what to do with (e.g. USAAF & RAF in 1945)
  • Airpower is best used in support of specific ground operations (e.g. the recapture of Sinjar)
  • Next, against transport systems and the production of vital basic materials (e.g. oil)
  • Lastly against manufacturing capacity (assuming ISIS has any to speak of).
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  #14  
Old 21st November 2015, 19:55
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Hi Paul

I hear what you are saying - Pooling air power with Russia and China is not a possibility - but surely it is! Isn't about time that we broke away from the Cold War attitudes? This is a great opportunity to pull together.

Just the thoughts of a simple man!

Brian
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  #15  
Old 21st November 2015, 21:11
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Dear Paul, Nick, and Brian,

Starting with you, Paul, your first link's discussion seems to have vindicated the Russian action. The second link says that Russia continues to modernize its air force, in contrast to the situation here in the U.S. The third link is written by 2 jackasses who don't know how to summarize their subject. It reminds me of some NASA reports. The fourth link is to a 9-year-old article.

Nick, air reconnaissance was an integral part of WW II intelligence gathering, but it was only a piece of the puzzle. I agree that by 1945 the USAAF and RAF had essentially accomplished their strategic tasks and further bombing was pretty much gratuitous. The fact that I wanted to include ground forces in the discussion is supported by your comment. We will have to bite the bullet and bring in some ground forces supported by a lot of forward and aerial targeting forces. I'd put strangling the supply of oil, fuel, and weapons inflow much higher on your list of uses for air power. But, you are right, you have to know where to hit. I'm not sure what ISIS manufactures, save possibly for suicide vests, which would be near impossible to target. How does one develop a workable government whose sole function is to control and destroy?

Brian, I think there is something to cooperation between Russia and the U.S. As for China, the world is so interdependent on trade with China and vice versa, that it would seem that much of what is going on from a military adversary point of view is bluster. China in no way would benefit by starting a war against the U.S. So, given that, there might be something to military cooperation against ISIS. Three senior Chinese business executives were killed in the Al Qaeda hotel attack in Mali on Nov. 20th, as well as 6 Russian employees of a cargo company.

Regards,
Richard
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  #16  
Old 21st November 2015, 21:58
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Nick, air reconnaissance was an integral part of WW II intelligence gathering, but it was only a piece of the puzzle.
I'm only saying (badly, perhaps) that you need to find targets before you can decide what to hit. I'm cheating a bit by including orbital systems in "aerial".
I agree that by 1945 the USAAF and RAF had essentially accomplished their strategic tasks and further bombing was pretty much gratuitous.
Not just the strategic forces but all those fighter pilots shooting at anyone and anything that moved in the last days.
The fact that I wanted to include ground forces in the discussion is supported by your comment. We will have to bite the bullet and bring in some ground forces supported by a lot of forward and aerial targeting forces.
Indigenous ground forces are already there although they need to make common cause (and, in some cases, find a willingness to fight).
I'd put strangling the supply of oil, fuel, and weapons inflow much higher on your list of uses for air power.
Doesn't matter if you can overrun territory swiftly. If you can't, then I agree.
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  #17  
Old 22nd November 2015, 03:13
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Dear All,

Tonight on TV they ran a repeat of Fareed Zakaria's CNN program on how ISIS came into being and, of particular interest, the population's attitude in Mosul about being occupied. A German reporter named Jurgen Totenhofer was granted permission to film life in Mosul, survived the experience, and was quite disturbed about how accepting the population was to being occupied and to accepting the radicalizing of its youth.

The positive thing that ISIS brought to Mosul was a sense of stability. Being Sunni, the population had a grudge against its second class citizen status from the Shiite government in Baghdad, obviously fostered by the U.S.' complete bungling of the postwar era and the alienation caused by the Nouri al-Maliki government.

What is happening with ISIS is brainwashing. When I was in AFROTC, we were presented with an intriguing situation of an alien invasion. The question was what to do about it. All sorts of hints were dropped as to the suggestability of the aliens and I was the only one that got the correct solution - they needed to be brainwashed. (No, I didn't enter the Air Force because I flunked flight training offered in my senior year and the Air Force was gracious enough to let me out of my contract. I went onto NASA instead.)

So, here we have Mosul under the direct influence of ISIS, a radical Sunni organization. In WW II, we dropped a lot of propaganda leaflets on Europe. How successful were these and should leaflets be used to counter the brainwashing of populations under ISIS control and, in specific, Mosul, which is a large city rather undeserving of a large bombing campaign?

Regards,
Richard
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  #18  
Old 22nd November 2015, 19:39
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard T. Eger View Post
In WW II, we dropped a lot of propaganda leaflets on Europe. How successful were these and should leaflets be used to counter the brainwashing of populations under ISIS control and, in specific, Mosul, which is a large city rather undeserving of a large bombing campaign?
Dear Richard,

The Second World War effort was not succesful because of the activities of the Gestapo and Geheime Feldpolizei.
Leaflets are being used continually in the Middle Eastern campaigns. During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the M129 leaflet bomb was common - http://www.psywarrior.com/leafbomb.html . Now the PDU-5 (a converted Rockeye cluster bomb) is more popular - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ts-over-syria/ . The problem is that ISIS has its own Gestapo and all such campaigns are limited in their effectiveness in the absence of a clear and persuasive ideology. To put it very mildly, the Cairo speech did not help at all.

Regards,

Paul

Last edited by Paul Thompson; 23rd November 2015 at 11:35.
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  #19  
Old 23rd November 2015, 12:00
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Dear all,

I might as well put the following extract here:
"The dispenser bomb, SUU-76C/B, is configured as a CBU-100/B that has had the Mk 118 bomblets removed and has a payload sleeve and spacers installed. When the payload sleeve is filled with leaflets and inserted into the dispenser, the All-Up-Round (AUR) is redesignated PDU-5/B." Text taken from this link - http://www.usna.edu/Training/_files/...20Ordnance.pdf .

The Second World War equivalent used by the RAF appears to have been the Small Bomb Container (SBC). See the following image - http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210211 . The use of the SBC for leaflet operations is mentioned in the following book - https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=I-mqBgAAQBAJ .

Of course, none of this technical jargon gets us any closer to understanding how to defeat ISIS To get us back to that subject, I think it is worth mentioning that the very agressive use of air power, including 'Super Hind' attack helicopters, by the Algerians during the In Amenas hostage crisis in 2013 shows that the air element of counter-terrorism is very useful. Of course, it must be mentioned that there were heavy casualties among the hostages, partly caused by the firepower of the Algerian armed forces.

Regards,

Paul
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  #20  
Old 23rd November 2015, 16:26
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Just how would you defeat ISIS?

Dear All,

What Cairo speech are you referring to Paul?

Also, while you gave a technical answer as to the use of leaflet releasing equipment, what hasn't been answered is how effective was this in WW II and what techniques from that war as to what the leaflet says were most effective?

As for all the accumulated knowledge gained from our membership of WW II strategy, I'm a bit frustrated that more have not joined in on the conversation. Is it really all about who shot down who and no strategic thinking? Theo Boiten, Larry deZeng, where are you?

Regards,
Richard
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