Can't Bomb Them into Submission?
Says who? In 1965-66 I huddled at night inside my dug-in defensive perimeter and watched the flickering lightning of the explosions of Operation Arc Light, an aggressive use of American heavy bombing capabilities against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemies we faced. The sky-lighting flashes accompanied seconds later by muted rumbles gave only the barest hint of the unbelievable violence being unleashed upon our enemy a few kilometers distant.
Days later, our ground patrolling into the bombed areas gave us an awed appreciation of the power of America’s Air Forces. The former jungle terrain was a scorched and scarred moonscape with the only visible life being the green shoots pressing an inch or two upward to the tropical sunlight, testament to the eternal renewability of life.
But those green sprigs were it. Every other thing in that landscape was dead. Irregularly spaced craters, several yards across and several feet deep depending on what the original topography had been, covered the area where the bombs had impacted. There was the occasional indication that humans had once been there, small bits and pieces of weaponry and the various metal accouterments of any infantry force, helmets, canteens, and so forth. Of human remains my patrols found none, at least none that were recognizable as such, nor did we find the remains of the indigenous animals like monkeys and water buffalo that we knew had lived there, possibly even tigers.
No, all mammalian life had been obliterated, reduced to particles of flesh and bone no longer visible to the human eye, blown into oblivion by a storm of fire and concussion that can never be fully described because no scribe who might be in the center of such events could ever survive to record them. Descriptions are left to the few of us who went in on the ground to survey the results of a B-52 carpet bombing campaign. I will wager that every trooper from the 327th Airborne Infantry who took part in those patrols will, to this day, tell you how he thanked his Maker that our enemies possessed no weapon equal to our Buffalos.
That’s a long preface to get to the premise of my piece about the issues challenging America and other Western democracies today. We are facing Muslim insurgencies throughout the areas where the teachings of Mohammed have poisoned millions of minds into believing that the only way they can survive is to dominate the world. Because America represents the biggest challenge to such a conquest, we are naturally their primary target, probably not a problem as long as we have the courage and the fortitude to deal with it over there rather than over here.
In order to become a fully functional cohesive military threat, capable of seizing territory and holding it, these ragtag jihadi revolutionaries must assemble their military assets into a cohesive force capable of effective offensive operations that result in the seizure and occupation of the sovereign territories needed to make up their Islamic caliphate. As every marauding tyrant in history has known, it requires concentrations of forces in key positions to attack, overrun, and then hold that portion of the world you intend to make part of your empire. That rule is indelible; it doesn’t change, as America, with her mighty air and naval armadas, has so recently learned; you cannot hold geography without sufficient forces in place on the ground.
But, America is not interested in seizing and holding any Middle Eastern geography; our goal is to deny that capability to others by not allowing them to build and assemble forces sufficient to be dominant. To the naysayers, military and civilian, who claim on television and in op-ed pieces that a determined and unrelenting, heavy bombing campaign can’t reduce any assembled forces of ISIS to rubble, I say, talk to infantry veterans of Vietnam who surveyed the results of B-52 strikes in that battleground.
With the intelligence capabilities we have today we most assuredly can monitor ISIS activities to determine when and where they are marshaling their forces for a major assault. When our intel indicates they are engaged in that process, we allow them sufficient time to gather as many of their forces as possible before their planned assault and then we send in the BUFFs at that critical moment to turn their marshaling areas and massed forces into nothing more than many, many large, smoking holes in the sand filled with nothing but memories of the atomized, wannabee soldiers of Allah. I guarantee you that any ISIS members who come in post-raid to assess the damages will gain a fresh understanding of what the term terror must truly mean, like my fellow troopers and I did fifty years ago.
Sadly, like so many other unused capabilities this great nation possesses, our heavy bombing assets will probably be kept on a tight leash by this dithering, incompetent loser in the White House that the Democrat party foisted on this nation and the world, an act of political treachery for which they should never be forgiven.