Carries Out More Syria Strikes in a Day than US Does in a Month
York Times has a front page story today describing how Russia is using Syria as
a proving ground for its military modernization, demonstrating its new weaponry
and showcasing its ability to project military power beyond its borders.
the story was this depressing
nugget of information:
fighter jets are, for now at least, conducting nearly as many strikes in a
typical day against rebel troops opposing the government of President Bashar al-Assad
as the American-led coalition targeting the Islamic State has been carrying out
each month this year….
air campaign started on Sept. 30, Russia has quickly ramped up its airstrikes
from a handful each day to nearly 90 on some days, using more than a half-dozen
types of guided and unguided munitions, including fragmentary bombs and bunker
busters for hardened targets, American analysts said.
is pathetic. General Jack Keane recently testified that 75
percent of US air sorties do not drop any bombs. “We have no strategy
to defeat ISIS in Syria,” Keane declared. “Syria is ISIS’s sanctuary. We
cannot succeed in Iraq if ISIS is allowed to maintain that sanctuary in Syria.
We need a strategy now to defeat ISIS in Syria.”
It was our
anemic military campaign that created the vacuum that Russia is now filling. It
began with Obama’s failure to enforce his red line on Assad’s use of
chemical weapons, which emboldened Putin to annex Crimea and launch a covert war
in eastern Ukraine. Now he’s done with pretenses and secrecy and is openly
bombing our allies on the ground in Syria.
even more evidence of American weakness, Putin could further test US resolve to
defend our NATO allies in the Baltic States or others to which we have treaty
obligations. He now has an airbase that puts Russian fighter jets five minutes
from Turkey, a NATO ally, and has already sent jets to violate Turkish airspace.
Other US adversaries, such as China and North Korea, could also be emboldened to
test our resolve.
projecting power. Obama is projecting weakness. And weakness is provocative.