I would like to discuss ISIS/ISIL and the US tactics or strategy in dealing with what we are told is a threat to the United States. But first, let me share what the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission has to say about hunting wild hogs. It may only make sense to me since I have recently been swine hunting.
Feral Hogs are Pests
Feral hogs are not native to the United States. They are an invasive species, a public nuisance and a threat to Arkansas. They compete for food resources, destroy habitat by rooting and wallowing and will eat ground-nesting birds, eggs, fawns and young domestic livestock. They also carry up to 45 bacteria, diseases and parasites, including Trichinellosis, Brucellosis and swine herpes virus.
Hunting and shooting feral pigs has been implemented for the last few decades. It can chase feral hogs away from crops or food plots temporarily, but they soon return or become a problem for a neighboring landowner. Studies show at least 66 percent of a hog population must be removed each year just to prevent it from growing. Hunting has shown to reduce hog populations by only 8 to 50 percent.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recognizes large-scale trapping as the most efficient and economical means currently available to reduce feral hog populations.
Sport hunting of feral hogs has been more hindrance to hog removal than benefit. Illegal relocation of hogs for hunting purposes has spread the problem to new areas. The shooting of individual hogs also thwarts large-scale trapping efforts by agencies because increased disturbance makes it nearly impossible to catch the whole sounder, or family group, at once.
Lets ponder these statements for a minute. “Hunting has shown to reduce hog populations by only 8 to 50 percent. Sport hunting of feral hogs has been more hindrance to hog removal than benefit. The shooting of individual hogs also thwarts large-scale trapping efforts by agencies because increased disturbance makes it nearly impossible to catch the whole sounder, or family group, at once.”
Now let me compare this to what I see as our war strategy. We began fighting terrorism in a new manner with the change in our Commander-in-Chief (aka “The Drone Warrior”). A policy of remote killing of high value targets practiced under Bush was expanded into the main effort to wage war. As quickly as politics allowed, Obama lead us out of Iraq and is attempting still to extract us from Afghanistan. And to be fair, he had little to do with getting us in these wars. But he asked for the job, so should be accountable for how he closes out these conflicts. Our military has always made & officers a high value target & employed snipers to destroy leadership. It has proven it’s worth on countless battlefields.
But this is a different kind of battle. On a true battlefield, the opposing army would be destroyed or forced to surrender. If they retreat, they would be pursued and destroyed. War is usually waged where you win, die, or surrender. You fight the other guy until he is no longer a threat to you. This new war, without a battlefield, killing a leader just creates a vacancy.
“The shooting of individual hogs also thwarts large-scale trapping efforts by agencies because increased disturbance makes it nearly impossible to catch the whole group.”
One change in this war on terror is ISIL becoming a regional power. Unlike most terror organizations the US has faced, here we have actual armies and battle fields. This is the type of fight our military is designed to engage. But only if allowed to use tactics proven to be effective. Air attacks are the per-cursor to land war. It means “boots on the ground” If the desire is to “win” this or any war, the enemy must be killed or captured. Our air war can destroy any hard targets and many or most vehicle assets, but still leaves survivors to continue the fight. It also may “train” smarter, more capable leaders.
Our Commander-in-Chief outlined his strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group known as ISIS. What can be said about this “strategy”? Does it not simply describe any battle or war? You attack and degrade the enemy (funny way to describe bombing, blowing up people and weapons…must be lawyer-speak where unpleasant words are never spoken. War is a conflict or military operation..) What is not said is how long will we be degrading the enemy? Part of his strategy includes other nations providing the “boots on the ground”. And to give credit, he & his advisors recognize it will take an army to kill or capture the ISIS terrorists. But how well grounded in reality is this plan? The Middle East is full of factions that hate each other. Our VP proposed a three state solution just for Iraq. Iran & Iraq fought a very bloody war in the 90’s. Syria is fighting a civil war and the US has sided against their government which Russia is supporting. Turkey when faced with invasion let a town face ISIL alone because it was a Kurdish settlement. Who are the allies Obama thinks will contain ISIS after we preform our “strategic strikes”? The saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a fallacy in this situation. Our best hope is for them to hate each other more than they do us…. And they are to be the “trap” and contain ISIS…
Another funny thing, both Democrats and Republicans are calling for this war. They differ only is how to wage the war.
“Bruce Braley, the Democratic Senate candidate in Iowa. He picked up a Republican-held House seat largely on the strength of his opposition to the war in Iraq. He backed cutting off funding for military operations and spoke out against the surge.
When his opponent warned at a 2006 debate of chaos if the U.S. cut and ran, Braley responded: “Chaos already is ensuing in Iraq.”
Just last August, Braley demanded Obama get congressional authorization before taking any military action in Syria.
Now Braley is running against military veteran Joni Ernst in one of the most contested Senate races in the country.
“ISIS is a threat that must be stopped,” Braley said during a debate Sunday. “Anytime American citizens are attacked by a terrorist group, they need to be brought to justice or to the grave.””
When has ISIS attacked America? They did behead a journalist. He went to Syria, in a war zone. Journalists are killed frequently when they elect to go to dangerous places to report. There cannot and should not be an expectation of safety for anyone who deliberately puts themselves in harms way. So why is everyone banging the war drum? Whatever happened to “Code Pink” and their anti-war protesters? If Bush & his wars were wrong, why is this a war we should fight?
ISIS has declared America their enemy and announced their intent to attack us. Hasn’t Iran done that multiple times? And a few others? One line of reasoning makes sense of the call to arms. When the boy sticks his finger in the small hole in the dike, plugging the small leak. It’s much easier to fix/contain than allowing the hole to grow, where a hand or a bulldozer cannot stop the flood. ISIS could sweep across Iraq if not stopped. They would have greater resources, namely huge quantities of oil to sell & trade. Could they then take Jordan, Syria, or Iran? It’s all possible. Looking at a map, it’s hard to explain how Germany conquered so many countries. Ditto for Japan. But all this really points to is the need for all Middle East countries that feel threatened to act. Obama took us out of Iraq. They were happy to see us, the invader leave. Syria is not a friend. Jordan & Israel are but I don’t hear them mentioned in these calls to war.
What shouts to me is first, we have no goal in this war. “Err, stop the bad guys from killing?” Which bad guy’s and in what countries? There are a lot of borders in that region. Reality is our “strategy is to start bombing them and hope we slow them down enough to buy some time and make a plan. Plan “A” to get other countries to handle the ground war. Plan “B” might be get past mid-terms and then commit US troops. (No doubt, it will be the Republicans fault by then)
As it stands today, ISIL is smuggling millions of dollars worth of oil across several borders every day. How likely is it that they cannot and will not export fighters? Couple that with the thousands of illegal immigrants seemingly crossing our southern border at will and the reality is our defense is an assumption that the enemy is too dumb or lazy to hit back. They clearly have the ability and funding. I think our air attacks will give them more incentive to target the US . (not that I doubt they will or would not seek to attack us, just we were a lower priority) I would suggest we pray, but our government seems opposed to that as well….
And let me give the final word to one of our Allies…
On Thursday, the Syrian National Coalition, which is recognized by the United States as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, told Foreign Policy that the plan “just doesn’t make sense strategically.
“The only way to defeat ISIS is to defeat ISIS. You cannot be reactive and wait for them to besiege liberated towns and villages,” said Oubai Shahbandar, a senior advisor to the group.