“This weekend, U.S.-led coalition aircraft destroyed an estimated $11 million worth of oil and trucks over the weekend in the largest single airstrike this year against the Islamic State’s black market oil trade in Syria.
“You’re going to have multiple effects from this one strike,” Air Force Lt. Gen, Jeffrey Harrigian, commander in the Middle East, said Tuesday. “We’ll have to see what this does to their ability to generate fighters.”
Waves of aircraft destroyed 83 oil tankers sitting in the open in Sunday’s attack.
The attacks were ordered after a pilot spotted some vehicles gathering in Deir ez-Zor province, a key oil-producing region in Syria controlled by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The coalition command sent a surveillance aircraft over the area. The command then quickly directed A-10 attack planes, F-16s and two coalition aircraft, which together launched more than 80 weapons, including bombing and strafing runs, at the vehicles.”
Air-to-ground missiles, A-10’s, F-16’s, drones, satellites, technicians, pilots, all cost money – a lot of money. One first generation Hellfire missile costs about $100,000; an F-16 costs $165 million each, plus $30,000 per hour to fly; drones cost $100,000+ to build and take a large infrastructure to operate.
I am not saying that we should not use our resources to take out the enemy, just quit warning them ahead of time and hold off on the bragging. If all we are doing is destroying trucks, it may cost us as much as it costs them. And are these people our enemies? Do we always fire a few warning shots so the experienced operators and soldiers can escape? Is this some weird video game war? Yes, I am serious:
“In the initial Tidal Wave II strikes last year, the coalition dropped leaflets on oil tankers before launching attacks, encouraging the drivers to flee their vehicles.
New military rules don’t require leaflets to be dropped, but pilots fire warning shots, typically consisting of bombs or rockets that are not aimed directly at the convoy.
“We’ll do that … to give them a chance to run,” Harrigian said.” Jim Michaels – USA Today
Sure, we can outspend ISIS; their $2 billion annual budget is peanuts compared the money we are prepared to spend to put them out of business. But are we really serious about defeating the enemy?