President Obama has a demand for U.S. Air Force personnel that is so delusional that it is hard not to question his mental health. The Islamic State group hides among civilians. It holds large swathes of territory in Iraqi and Syrian cities. Mr. Obama, however, expects the U.S. Air Force to prosecute an air campaign with zero civilian casualties.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, told the Washington Free Beacon Nov. 18 that roughly 75 percent of the clear shots on ISIL targets are called off due to the president’s rules of engagement.
“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Rep. Royce, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”
Things got downright scary when retired four-star U.S. general Jack Keane detailed the president’s impossible demand:
He told the Free Beacon:
“When we agreed we were going to do air power and the military said, this is how it would work, he [Obama] said, ‘No, I do not want any civilian casualties.’ And the response was, ‘But there’s always some civilian casualties. We have the best capability in the world to protect from civilians casualties.’ [Obama’s response], ‘No, you don’t understand. I want no civilian casualties. Zero.’ So that has driven our so-called rules of engagement to a degree we have never had in any previous air campaign from desert storm to the present.”
If the president of the United States is not willing to seriously use ground troops — if he is reliant on air strikes for his anti-ISIL strategy to succeed — he cannot realistically ask the U.S. Air Force for zero civilian casualties.
Mr. Obama is either completely detached from reality, or militarily twiddling his thumbs until his time in office ends. Instead of showing real leadership against an enemy who quickly adapts to changing battlefield conditions, the president seems content to vote “present” on the world stage.
The safety and security of the American people has now been abdicated to men like Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Obama asked for an then accepted a job he was ill-equipped to handle. His fantasy-land demands for the U.S. military will result in dead Americans (possibly on U.S. soil), and when that happens much of the blame will rest on his shoulders.