Recently, ISIS took the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, which is just 70 miles from Bagdad. They even thanked Obama for the spoils. Now, they have even more to thank Obama for, namely, keeping a fight force off their backs that could take them out before you could say “no 72 virgins for you, dirtbag.”
They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: “There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn't get clearance to engage.”
He added, “They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”
Sources close to the air war against ISIS told Fox News that strike missions take, on average, just under an hour, from a pilot requesting permission to strike an ISIS target to a weapon leaving the wing.
A spokesman for the U.S. Air Force’s Central Command pushed back: “We refute the idea that close air support strikes take ‘an hour on average'. Depending on the how complex the target environment is, a strike could take place in less than 10 minutes or it could take much longer.
“As our leaders have said, this is a long-term fight, and we will not alienate civilians, the Iraqi government or our coalition partners by striking targets indiscriminately.”
A former U.S. Air Force general who led air campaigns over Iraq and Afghanistan also said today's pilots are being “micromanaged,” and the process for ordering strikes is slow — squandering valuable minutes and making it possible for the enemy to escape.
“You're talking about hours in some cases, which by that time the particular tactical target left the area and or the aircraft has run out of fuel. These are excessive procedures that are handing our adversary an advantage,” said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a former director of the Combined Air Operations Center in Afghanistan in 2001.
Deptula also contrasted the current air campaign against ISIS with past air campaigns.
The U.S.-led airstrikes over Iraq during the first Gulf War averaged 1,125 strike sorties per day, according to Deptula. He said the Kosovo campaign averaged 135 strikes per day. In 2003, the famous “shock and awe” campaign over Iraq saw 800 strikes per day.