Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Without France

... the strategic problem for ISIS has become much simpler.

First the British and the Germans and now the French have backed out of airstrikes in Syria against ISIS. All have sizable Muslim populations and the French ones can be quite restive. See also: cars, burning of. The risks of rioting in their cities outweighed the nebulous benefits of a dilatory bombing campaign. We are effectively isolated in this effort with no allies of any consequence at our side.

For ISIS, the problem has been reduced to getting the US out of the way. They can wait us out, a strategy that has born fruit everywhere or they can take more direct action. Would we still have the stomach for the fight once chunks of the US electrical grid have been knocked out with some well-placed acts of terror?

More to the point, would we be willing to spend the men and money required to go after them in force over in the Middle East with no large allies?


tim eisele said...

"no allies of any consequence at our side"

An interesting bit of information: according to Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia has 614 combat aircraft (including the worlds 3rd-largest fleet of F-15s), compared to France with only 217 combat aircraft.

I daresay that if Saudi Arabia is not an ally of any consequence, then neither is France.

Incidentally, the other Arab allies that are reported as helping bomb targets in Syria have:

UAE: 147 combat aircraft (about half F-16s, and half Mirages)

Bahrain: 37 (mix of F-16s and F-5s)

Jordan: 86 (mix of F-16s and F-5s)

Qatar: OK, qatar doesn't have much, just six Mirages and a couple of dozen helicopters (although they are providing us with an air base)

Trigger Warning said...

The Pentagon is calling the Arab contingent "partners" in the airstrikes. Unfortunately, the use of the word "partners" does not necessarily mean any of those nations had planes in the air. There are plenty of ways to "partner".

I'd appreciate a link explaining exactly what these "partners" did.