Thursday, January 17, 2008

Increasing Air Strikes in Iraq


"Increased reliance on firepower as a substitute for adequate manpower strikes me as a classic COIN no-no, but Kahl seems to approve and even told USA Today last week that due to increased carefulness, the civil toll is being reduced: "You saw a lot more damage to the civilian population in 2004 than you're seeing now. Even though you have a huge uptick in offensive operations, it looks like the military is taking greater care not to harm civilians." Obviously, I hope that's right. It's my understanding, however, that the Defense Department still doesn't count civilian casualties so I don't really understand how they would know whether or not you're seeing a reduction in damage to the civilian population. In my book, the first step in "taking greater care" to avoid something is to measure what's happening."

Question: What targets are we bombing that like, need bombs? At least when Saddam was in power you had like radar stations and air strips, but unless the insurgency has reached COBRA status and are roaming around in Terrordomes, the only targets they could possibly have are small villages and houses. It seems counterproductive and inefficient, but I suppose we have to spend those defense dollars somehow.

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