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. There was nothing wrong with the individual French fighting man.

    The French fought well in WW1, but between WW1 and WW2, domestic politics and corrupted government ruined the leadership, institutional culture, and logistical integrity of what had been a world-class military. Within a generation, by WW2, the French military’s reputation exceeded its capability – a dangerous state against a reconstituted capable hungry enemy.

    On the military side, the flaws of the French military that fell apart against the German blitz bear striking resemblance to the flaws of the Iraqi military that fell apart against the ISIS (version of a) blitz. The politics of the time in France bears striking resemblance to our politics today. One hopes the corrosive effects of French politics on the French military will not be repeated by US politics upon the US military.

    A compelling historical window on France on the precipice of WW2:

  2. max – I personally admired the French resistance movement during WWII more than the French army, in general, in the context of the past 100 years.

    Was Audrey Hepburn part of the French or British resistance during the War? I thought French, but not entirely sure. I recall she also used to dance ballet to entertain the exhausted soldiers.

  3. I typically hate invoking Hollywood movies of course, but I do recall a tactic employed by the occupying forces in Red Dawn where they dropped supplies knowing the Wolverines would pick them up with the ability to track the packages. Possibility?

  4. Karen, LOL! French tanks have 4 speeds, 3 are reverse and one forward. The forward speed is in case the enemy is behind them.

    1. Nick – you make fun of the French tanks, but they took on superior German tanks and at least mauled them enough to stall their forward movement. I,, too, used to make fun of the French, until I learned a lot more about the beginning of the war. And as for Vichy France, the situation changed as time went on. This happened in almost every country under German control. Light control at first, then slightly tightening the strings, tighter and tighter.

  5. Nick – I can’t recall who said this, but there was a memorable quote that, “Going to war without France is like going hunting without a marching band.”

  6. Ken – excellent! We could track the shipment. Wonder if they could add a post, “delayed due to sniper fire.” I’ll bet UPS could do it.

  7. Argh! Iraqi security forces are so darn incompetent! Plus they’re rife with terrorists, as the repeated attacks on US soldiers proved over the years.

  8. maxcat, Nothing but respect for the French resistance, w/ corresponding revulsion w/ the Vichy govt.

    1. Nick –

      I think it is memories of the Vichy government that turned people against the French. I know that there were many brave Frenchmen and women as well. I would love all history to be told as completely as possible.

    1. maxcat06 – the French army fought hard to protect the British retreat at Dunkirk and 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.

      1. @Paul –

        I always remember that. They saved much of the British army, at great cost to their own army. They stalled the German advance, and that’s quite a feat. I believe that many in France and the “Low Countries” did much to stymie the Nazis until the Allies could establish the beachhead at Normandy. Sorry to rant on – once a history major, always a history major.

        1. maxcat06 – being a history major is much like being a drug addict. Even though you are not taking drugs, you still have the addictive habits. 🙂

          1. Paul –

            Don’t I know it. When people start mentioning the books they’re currently reading, I’m forever mentioning some lengthy tome on WWII or Lincoln or whatever. To me, it’s fun reading. Right now, I’m reading “The Zhivago Affair”, which is about the smuggling and printing of Dr. Zhivago in the west, along with now admitted CIA involvement.

  9. paulette92122

    Dredd ~

    That Bill Maher vid made me laugh out loud.


    Dredd, don’t you know it’s childish to bring up Bush for comparison?!
    I am a child of the honest universe that loves honest laughter.

  10. Nick Spinelli,

    The serious side of those French Army jokes helps explain why we’ve stayed in Europe as long as we have since WW2.

  11. MikeA, LOL! The French may finally be off the hook w/ Iraqi Army jokes taking the place of French Army jokes.

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