More than 300 air attacks against Islamic State terror targets have been carried out by U.S. and coalition forces, according to a Pentagon spokesman. Dramatic videos of bombs and missiles hitting trucks, tanks, and buildings in Iraq and Syria (one recent video you can see above) have been released to show the impact of these strikes.
But what has been the meaningful, big-picture effect of weeks of expensive raids against ISIS? Pentagon Press Secretary and Rear Admiral John Kirby admits that — while enemy tactics may have been altered — the long-term effect on Islamic fighters is minimal, at best.
As cnsnews.com reports, the Defense Department spokesman says that ISIS remains a “very potent force,” and that the air attacks have not made them any “less dangerous.”
As of Tuesday, the U.S. and its coalition partners had conducted nearly 310 air attacks on Islamic terrorist targets, more than 230 in Iraq and 76 in Syria, a Pentagon spokesman said.
And while the air campaign has forced the terrorists to change their tactics, “We still believe ISIL remains a very potent force,” Admiral John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday.
“Yes, they’ve changed some of their tactics, there’s absolutely no question about that, in response to the pressure that we put them under, but that doesn’t make them less dangerous or less potent over time,” Kirby said.
During his news conference to brief reporters on the Obama-initiated air campaign against the Islamic State, Kirby seemed to be searching for positive and substantial news to report about any degradation of ISIS’ capabilities. But he kept returning to the fact that the hundreds of airstrikes have resulted in little to no effect.
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Again, via cnsnws.com:
“That doesn’t mean ISIL doesn’t still pose a threat. It doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying and in some cases succeeding at taking and holding ground. No one said this would be easy or quick, and no one should be lulled into a false sense of security by accurate airstrikes.”
So what effect has the Obama-designed air campaign against the terror group had? Well, for one thing, it’s had the effect of depleting the resources of the U.S. military and putting a squeeze on the Pentagon budget, according to CBS News:
U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could cost tens of billions of dollars, straining the Defense Department’s budget as it still adjusts to mandatory budget cuts put in place in late 2011.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the strikes cost up to $10 million a day and could cost between $2.4 billion and $8.6 billion a year, based on estimates from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Image Credit: youtube | U.S. Central Command