Killing Them With Kindness? Iraqi Pilots Drop Emergency Food and Ammunition . . . To Islamic State Militants

280px-AirdropcloseJan18haiti_editedIraqi pilots are rechecking their coordinate calculations after they mistakenly dropped food, water and ammunition to Islamic State militants rather than besieged Iraqi forces fighting the militants. It is the latest blunder by a military that, despite billions and billions in U.S. training and equipment, continues to face regular desertions and defeats in the field.

An Iraqi general explained that the pilots were “young and new.”

The most recent blunder throws into question how our air support will make a difference when the Iraqi forces face rampant corruption and negligence in their leadership. However, the solution of recommitting troops would return our forces to a quagmire of sectarian violence.

In fairness, the United States in World War II had such incidents, though with today’s GPS and locational technology such failures are less common.

57 thoughts on “Killing Them With Kindness? Iraqi Pilots Drop Emergency Food and Ammunition . . . To Islamic State Militants”

  1. slohrss29: “I don’t see any ISIL tanks coming down from Canada or up from Mexico.”

    I don’t believe a conventional military attack is the kind of direct homeland threat usually assigned to ISIS, parent AQ, etc..

  2. Let’s be frank, it doesn’t resemble the United States today. I don’t see any ISIL tanks coming down from Canada or up from Mexico. Here lies the problem. Supposedly, the Turks are now going to set things straight–as they should. The whole mess is in their backyard. But will they be allowed? If they don’t mop up those guys in a couple of weeks, something’s wrong somewhere. Mainly Washington.

  3. Diverting the ISIS discussion back to the legal question of military intervention, I was just reading UNSCR 2170 (15AUG14), Security Council Adopts Resolution 2170 (2014) Condemning Gross, Widespread Abuse Of Human Rights by Extremist Groups in Iraq, Syria.

    The case can be made that UNSCR 2170 activates the PL 107-243 authority to “enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq”, though the Russians would dispute that interpretation.

    Setting aside PL 107-243, this section of UNSCR 2170 disposes the issue of PL 107-40 authority:

    18. Observes that ISIL is a splinter group of Al-Qaida, recalls that ISIL and ANF are included on the Al-Qaida sanctions list and in this regard, expresses its readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings and entities providing support to ISIL or to ANF, including those who are financing, arming, planning or recruiting for ISIL or ANF and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida through information and communications technologies including the internet and social media or through any other means;

    So, can Congress choose to pass a new authorization to counter ISIS? Sure it can, but doing so is not legally necessary. The President’s standing counter-terror authority established by the Clinton and Bush administrations is sufficient. Obama’s anti-ISIS strikes so far are lawful.

  4. Karen S,

    I recommend watching the Columbia University panel on the ISIS crisis that I linked in my comment at October 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm. The professors offer a lay-person accessible, nuts-and-bolts explanation that includes insight on what happened to the Iraqi military.

  5. Paul C. Schulte: “they did make a run at the over extended tank supply lines, but were turned back. They made the German High Command nervous enough that they stopped their advance before Dunkirk, allowing the British to escape.”

    I wonder whether if France and allies had opted for a Pusan Perimeter strategy rather than surrender, if they would have stalled and broken the German attack.

  6. Karen S: “Plus they’re rife with terrorists, as the repeated attacks on US soldiers proved over the years.”

    Do you mean the Afghan security forces?

    IIRC, from at least the COIN “Surge” until we left in 2011, US and Iraqi force cooperation was functional. I don’t recall that green-on-blue attacks were a significant problem.

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