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Waylander
Waylander
September 26, 2014 5:37 pm

BBC & Sky News keep harping on about just six Tornado GR4s being based at Akrotiri, however they were deployed for the reconnaissance flights, I assume now the RAF is
to carryout airstrikes more GR4s will be sent to Cyprus?
If not it will be seen as a token gesture, especially as the UK has a sovereign base to launch strikes from.
I mean FFS the Belgians are sending SEVEN F-16s!

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
September 26, 2014 5:40 pm

Good luck and best wishes to all those heading into the firing line.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
September 26, 2014 5:48 pm
Mark
Mark
September 26, 2014 5:57 pm

Good luck and good hunting to all involved.

Chuck
Chuck
September 26, 2014 6:04 pm

@waylander: I watched some of the debate Fallon(I think) jumped up a few times to say we’d be committing more than just the 6 tonkas when questions were asked about it. Didn’t see any specifics, doubt there were any at this point.

Phil
September 26, 2014 6:07 pm

Fuck ’em up.

WiseApe
September 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Unlike the Syria debacle last year this is a decision we can all get behind, no dodgy dossiers required.

Waylander
Waylander
September 26, 2014 6:18 pm

@Chuck

Thanks for the info, I only saw a few clips of the debate on the news.
HMS Talent is apparently deployed in the region, so she may contribute with a few TLAMs.

Jonathan
Jonathan
September 26, 2014 6:57 pm

I feel a bit sad that our country needs to do this, but on balance I feel it’s the right thing to do both for our own national interest and as the moral thing to do.

I hope we hit the right people, make a difference and our service men and women all come home safe.

My thoughts are also with Allen Henning, John Cantlie and their families at this time.

Kent
Kent
September 26, 2014 7:01 pm

Denmark – 7 F-16
Belgium – 6 F-16
Netherlands – 6 F-16
Australia – 8 FA-18, 1 E-7A “Wedge Tail,” 1 KC-30A
France – Rafeles and at least one ATL2
UK – Better than Belgium?

Phil
September 26, 2014 7:22 pm

Now now Kent. We’ve been doing this bombing Iraq thing for a while now. Longer than most. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Those little countries are like the racer setting off far to fast. Got to pace the bombing. Nice and steady.

Dave haine
Dave haine
September 26, 2014 7:25 pm

As I understand it the RAF already has 6 Tonka GR4 (A particularly effective, dedicated strike aircraft) and a ‘number’ of ISR assets, in theatre… so yes, I would say better than Belgium…

…add HMS Talent into the asset pool… I would say the UK will be ‘contributing’.

Observer
Observer
September 26, 2014 7:29 pm

Not sure how useful it’s going to be now, when the Americans started bombing, all the little rats scurried back into populated areas, so confirmed prey in areas where there is low collateral damage is going to be low. If they wanted to bomb, they could have at least waited for one intense strike to get as many of the scurrying creatures before they burrowed. Oh well, what’s done is done.

The Other Chris
September 26, 2014 7:31 pm

UK involvement, with the line drawn at Syria, assists with holding out a hand towards Iran.

Especially given a portion of the request from Iraq was for assistance to work with the newly announced Minister for the National Guard in forming a National Guard to unite Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish militias.

An interview on BBCR4 this lunchtime mentioned work in the North of Iraq with regards the UK.

IXION
September 26, 2014 7:39 pm

Ok

I wish all involved safety and effectiveness.

However this war is, (and even I find this difficult to credit) even more half arsed bollocks, than the last one…… if such a thing is possible.

Kent
Kent
September 26, 2014 7:45 pm

– So I guess we’ll have to wait a bit for the 1000 plane raids, huh? :D

@Dave – Will the Tornado (Tonka) GR4’s overfly Syria, Lebanon, or Turkey to get to Iraq? Will they drop bombs on Syria? The Tornados that I’ve seen have been quite impressive, but so have the F-16s. Our local ANG wing keeps deploying their F-16s to Afghanistan to provide bomb dropping support, so when they aren’t deployed they train ALOT. As for the HMS Talent, with it being a nuclear submarine I guess we’ll just have to take the RN’s word that it’s in the area, what? :D

Chuck
Chuck
September 26, 2014 7:52 pm

I think what will most likely happen is that the US will focus on Syria along with their Arab allies while the rest of NATO will focus on supporting the Kurds and helping Baghdad retake western Iraq and re-establish the border, driving them back into the Syrian maelstrom and sending the fair weather jihadi’s running for home. How long all that will take is a whole other story.

If we can get the Iraqi’s to the border again it would be a devastating blow to ISIS, militarily and politicly.

mike
mike
September 26, 2014 7:53 pm

TBH why would the RN waste a few Tomahawks? Bombing from the air and ISTAR/Tanking/SF is all I can see us contributing effectively.

In Libya the TLAM’s were used against established/built positions… the target sets that will appear/be ID’ed now (after a week of US/FR/Arab bombing) would just be a waste… not to mention ROE.

Do remember a few weeks back, senior military (mostly Ex) staff warning against a lack of a clear objective… is there one here?

Though I echo my colleagues sentiment in that these thugs need terminating.

dave haine
dave haine
September 26, 2014 9:34 pm

Hi Kent,

I don’t doubt that the US F16s are good, and the units that fly them are too. The point I was trying to get over to some of the others, was that it isn’t necessarily about the numbers of aeroplanes, but the effectiveness of each one. The Tonka is a dedicated strike aircraft, and a particularly good one- the crews are well-trained and experienced at that role. That gives the coalition another string tow their bow- different skillsets give commanders more options.

Bear in mind, as well, that the RAF have been operating ISR assets in theatre too…

All in all, I think the coalition, will be pleased to have those aircraft to hand, too.

Although, TBH, wouldn’t the Warthog be a better aircraft for this… (Or a Super Tucano… Or a Hawk 200 :-) )

What we need is for ALL our people to come home, safely when it’s all over…

Kent
Kent
September 26, 2014 9:51 pm

@dave haine – My wife suggested a couple of B-52s with “special weapons.” She’s lost her sense of humor over time.

Chuck
Chuck
September 26, 2014 10:36 pm

Warthog would be perfect(forward basable, heavy weapon load, can get low to self target, not overly impressed by DshK) but they’ll never use it so decisively while trying to scrap them. Same reason they never sent the F22 into Libya while they were trying to shut the production down, despite it being deployed not that far away.

Hog’s would be great militarily but a political nightmare just deploying and not to mention the risk of shootdown. Nature of the A-10 delivers great effect on the ground but the price paid was always attrition from getting down low. Casualty aversion is the name of the game.

If it were my choice I’d stick as many as I could keep supplied in Iraqi Kurdistan(there’s one large all up airbase and plenty of other places an A-10 could live). Give them an aggressive ROE and let them go HK over the whole of western Iraq while the other air power handle the actual bombing campaign. Good luck getting your gun truck out of the garage. If the Iraqi army can’t advance with that level of support then they’re a lost cause.

Back to reality; some googling for my own curiosity suggests we might have 9 GR4 on Aki 3 already there on other business when the 6 arrived for shader. If they’re still there I imagined they might get retasked. We certainly have 2 tristar and a Sentry there too and a chinook taskgroup. With Rivet Joint at Al Udeid and 10 predator still in Afghan, possibly a sentinel in Afghan too. With the Afghan draw down nearly done I’m sure some of those assets are available and the rest can be moved over when it’s finished

We’ve also had C17’s and Herc’s going into Irbil delivering Toyotas and HMG. Along with the humanitarian stuff.

Not bad at all, but after banging our chest so much in Wales about being NATO’s number 2 I think we need to step up a bit more at least to a squadron level commitment.

Kent
Kent
September 27, 2014 2:04 am

The A-10 has loiter time and a massive load-carrying capability. Put a bunch of laser or GPS-guided SDBs under the wings and wait for Daesh to poke their heads outside. Boom! Then, when they run low on bombs, they can chase Daesh thugs with the GAU-8.

Martin
Editor
September 27, 2014 3:35 am

I am not sure if the UK really needs to have many combat jest in theatre. No doubt Brimstone will be a vital capability for hitting targets in built up areas but one Tonka can carry 16. I am sure we will run out of targets long before aircraft and missiles.

The UK’s best contribution will be Sentinal, Rc135, RAPTOR equipped Tornados, TLAM and Voyager tankers so 6 Tornados is probably more than enough along with a few under water knife fighters on the ground.

Martin
Editor
September 27, 2014 3:42 am

@ Mike – The RN will waste Tomahawks because the treasury will pay to replace them :-)

@ Chuck – I agree about the A10. How about transferring some to the Iraq airforce?

Chuck
Chuck
September 27, 2014 4:42 am

: Need that many. No. We don’t need any at all. This is a war of choice after all, but they’ve beheaded British Citizens and I have rather strong opinions about that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV3roWM0DSs

I’d be quite happy to cover every piece of tarmac in Aki with RAF planes.Honestly I only said 1 squadron because I think that’s all we’re realistically capable of sustaining.

As for a tactical justification rather than just my feelings; against a fleeting enemy; numbers, coverage, TOT and TTT are key.

RE: Brimstone. It’s even better than that, it’s 18, although I’m guessing it will be 12+2 wing tanks so they can have a wander and don’t have to cane the AAR fleet.

A10 for Iraq would be entirely too sensible to be considered in Washington. Especially older A-10A’s they would be perfect IMO and could arrive pretty quick and get their pilots converted pretty quick, much faster than the F16 on both counts.

Iraq doesn’t need F16’s, glass cockpits and hellfire. They need high reliability, survivability, sortie rates and brute simplicity. A10’s with 100+ 70mm rockets and 1300 30mm rounds I think would be much more use to the Iraqi forces and can still pack hellfire or maverick when it’s needed(or more likely when they finally get delivered).

Observer
Observer
September 27, 2014 4:42 am

Kent, I’m actually leaning towards your wife’s POV. Carpet bomb or glass the area. Combined with a media blitz calling Muslims “Satan’s Children”, keep them on the back foot with regards to recruitment propaganda. If they are busy defending themselves from heresy accusations, they can’t use “America is the whore of the Great Satan” as recruitment material, though it’s going to be bad for the moderates for a while.

Sometimes, against a primitive culture, which ISIS is, a feudal system based on might, strength and brutality is the only language they can understand, so speak it back to them fluently.

Chuck
Chuck
September 27, 2014 6:03 am

@obs I think we all feel that way sometimes but if we’re just going to sink to their level it’s all pointless anyway. Although sometimes I think the best plan might be to find another source of oil reinforce NATO’s southern flank and leave them to it.

Although; I’m really tired of treating moderate Muslims as a special interest group. Every other religion on the planet manages to keep control of it’s faculties when some of it’s members act the fool and get slapped down. If they’re really moderates they’ll grow up and deal with it like everyone else, if not they aren’t worth the effort. I’m all for engagement, equality, multiculturalism and all that other good stuff we’re standing up for, but not appeasement. They’re 4% of our population the other 96% of the UK aren’t Muslim and most of that 96% feels the same way about crucifying kids as most Muslim’s feel about wiping your ass with pages from the Koran with doodles of Mohammed on them.

This appeasement skews the foreign policy conversation in a dangerous way IMO. By obscuring some rather salient facts;

Gulf states created this mess in their Cold War with Iran. By funnelling hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of fighters into ISIS. At one point Saud was releasing prisoners from jail if they’d go fight in Syria and they have still done little to choke off the cash flows. Maybe the UN resolution will help there. Not that this is anything new of course the Saud’s, Pakistan and others have been double dealing since day 1.

Keeping your own house clean; the previous point aside, the Muslim nations of the world have 3million+ men under arms and thousand of latest tanks, planes and weapons between them and many thousands more cold war era gear that will happily plink Toyota’s all day. Not mention many of them are among the richest nations on Earth and right on the doorstep. These nations have done nothing until the US turned the screws on them and only then made token commitments which as nothing more than political cover for NATO doing the heavy lifting. Nothing would make me happier than for them to really stand up, to prove me wrong, but we all know it’s not going to happen.

Last but most definitely not least. We’re ‘sensitive’ to the point we now talk to and about Muslims as if they are children. It’s patronising in the extreme which does us no end of damage and also seems to lead into talking to the Muslims who behave like children rather than their parents.

Amjem Choudary being a great example of this in Britain. He was on telly again this week. Being cuffed rather than interviewed, I don’t know if he’s guilty but not having to listen to the little oik run his mouth off and do everything he can to drive a wedge between Muslims and the wider community makes a refreshing change.

On the foreign policy front there’s a few Muslim governments who need a dose of realpolitik and reminding that sitting on oil makes them an ally of convenience not an indispensable partner or true friend and if they want us to even remember their name the day after it runs out, that day when they will truly need friends, then they need to buck up their ideas or end up looking like Somalia.

Obsvr
Obsvr
September 27, 2014 6:07 am

Targeting is going to be the problem. I suspect ISIL makes only limited use of fixed sites and it will now decrease, now that they have PGMs air forces are quite useful against fixed targets. The integration of NATO air forces with Arab armies is going to be interesting and most of the targets are not going to be fixed. Belgian pilots and Iraqi FACs should be fun packed.

Observer
Observer
September 27, 2014 6:15 am

Chuck, I’m not sure it is “sinking to their level”. It’s getting the point across. It’s actually a fairly old story, we experienced it in Cambodia where after a generation of brutal rule, the only law that was recognized was basically at the point of a gun. All “humanistic” emotion was pretty much bred out of the population as only the brutal survived. Took a long while before society shifted back to something more reasonable.

To put it in context, to someone where only the strong gets tribute and obedience, what do you think restraint and advantageous deals look like to them? Sometimes context is everything. I can just imagine peace lovers giving flowers to a goat. To the giver, it is a sign of peace. To the receiver it’s a food tribute. :)

If someone can only understand violence, how else are you going to communicate other than by violence?

Chuck
Chuck
September 27, 2014 6:19 am

True but they can kiss their heavy weapons and technicals goodbye pretty quick.

Chuck
Chuck
September 27, 2014 6:25 am

Gah crossposted.

I don’t disagree on the force argument but glassing them is kind of genocide. Which a bit strong. Like I said earlier I’d happily swarm them with FJ. when it comes to war I’m to the hilt kind of guy. If you aren’t willing to do it, you shouldn’t be at war. That youtube vid was a little tongue in cheek but it doesn’t misrepresent my opinion.

Are both obs you btw? Or is this a me and Chuck Hill thing?

Observer
Observer
September 27, 2014 6:35 am

It’s a you and Chuck Hill thing. :)

I originally used the nick because I was only supposed to be here to observe and it’s also something of a play on my job in the army, but I seem to have gotten too involved here. I actually came on to track for Warthog efficiency since they’ are (were) going to be newly issued to us and you guys are the only ones with practical battlefield experience with them. It is nice to know that running over a mine won’t result in them needing to scrape me off the roof with a spatula.

TAS
TAS
September 27, 2014 8:08 am

The UK has no responsibility whatsoever for the brutality and barbarity of these terrorists – I refuse to use any description of these people that involves the words Islamic or State. I gather the French have adopted the Arabic word Daesh which I think means ‘wankers’ but is apparently hated by that organisation. Anyway, someone tell me where beheading, crucifixion, eye gouging, genocide and mass murder feature in the UK’s history in the region?

This is long term and dominantly non-military. Strikes will help degrade Daesh conventional forces, which is good, but without a long term alternative the Sunni and myriad other disaffected tribes will continue to enable Daesh freedom of manoeuvre across the region. Targeting terrorist revenue streams and helping both Iraqis, Syrian moderate opposition and the Kurds to resist is critical. This is more about counter terrorism than military action. And it is a regional problem that will only be solved by regional government offering a viable alternative. The challenge is to balance Iraqi integrity, Kurdish independence and the removal of Assad/enabling the moderate opposition in removing the vacuum in which Daesh, as well as Al Qaeda and others, were able to flourish.

Chuck
Chuck
September 27, 2014 8:14 am

Well hello to you both. :)

Not getting spatulated is always for the best I find.

I’ve been mopped that was bad enough. :P

Chuck
Chuck
September 27, 2014 8:56 am

@ TAS: According to my Muslim mate who funnily enough I was talking about this yesterday he’s a native Arabic speaker this is how he explained it to me;

Daesh doesn’t translate. Arabic is just like English, ever changing with new words entering the lexicon so there’s no direct translation. it was an acronym for their original name. It’s rise as an insult is very similar as the rise of Nazi as an insult was his comparison. It started out as shorthand for them, the acronym of their original name in Iraq during the insurgency, but became an insult toward them and those like them, due to the public reaction to their actions.

It offends them for a few reasons.

It’s very similar to a word for ‘to tread on or trample’. Making an implication of fascism which they’re very sensitive about because they are fascists.

Once it became a noun in it’s own right all references to Islam and a state is stripped out which undermines them and belittles their cause. Demotion from Caliphate to criminal gang must sting.

It’s their old name the one they were defeated under fighting in the very same places, getting them run out of Iraq, how they ended up in Syria in the first place. Before they reinvented themselves as ISIS. It also dates from the time they were closely affiliated with AQI. Something else they’d rather everyone forgets.

Finally corporate branding; they very much want to portray themselves as great new thing, not the same pricks everyone hates and has hated for years with a new hat.

He didn’t mention the word wanker but he’s an exceedingly polite man(I’ve never heard him swear), so maybe that’s in there too and he just didn’t mention it.

Observer
Observer
September 27, 2014 9:10 am

” beheading, crucifixion, eye gouging, genocide and mass murder feature in the UK’s history in the region?”

Monty Python. :P

First thing we need in Iraq is Identity Cards and a central registry, then we can find out who those damn foreign imports are. Right now, you attack, they run into the cities.. now how the hell are you going to tell the sheep from the goats? Maybe the election records might help if they had a registered list of voters, but until then, you’re not going to be able to separate the scum from the urban masses. With ID cards, you can do drastic things like “No card? Deport!”.

Martin
Editor
September 27, 2014 9:43 am

@ Observer

ID cards, that’s british imperial control 101.

Given the large number of foreigners in IS I think it will be easier to separate them than it was in Afghanistan for example.

we will still need some form of ground force though and quick. Let’s hope the Iraq army can get back in the game ASAP.

Observer
Observer
September 27, 2014 10:28 am

“No, no sir, not ISIS, I live here 20 years, ask neighbour! AK? For hunting sir. Neighbour also have AK? Very popular hunting gun AK.” :)

Mark M
Mark M
September 27, 2014 10:30 am

I’m not really qualified to comment on the military aspect, whether that be Weapons / Intelligence gathering, other comments have covered it pretty well. The area I was more interested in (which has been touched upon) is choking off the money supply to ISIS, or any other terrorist group, do people think this is more of a technical issue to achieve, or is dealing with the politics/ideology of the donors the stumbling block ?

Mark M

monkey
monkey
September 27, 2014 11:15 am

If we do suppress this insurgency a plan to identify and round up and bury the surviving members or supporters of the calprick needs to be in place , as Observer said the lack of an identity card should prompt some action for a start. Long term money talks , put bounty on their heads , a lot of money. A 6 hour patrol by a tonka ,even if it drops no ordinance, costs what 200k , so 100k on each should prompt a few to drop a dime on a neighbour who was away on’ business’ for while.If nothing else it will spread suspicions and mutual fear of strangers, a good environment to restore a hard rule of law.In the end estimates are around 10k members of the calpricks group so a billion to be rid of them is f**k all .

TAS
TAS
September 27, 2014 12:26 pm

Another question – what do you do with the foreign fighters? For example, what if the Brighton lad tried to come home instead of being killed?

At the moment he’ll be jailed, stripped of his citizenship and reviled – some incentive to come home!! The policy for dealing with these young, impressionable and deluded young men and women should be to welcome them home, make them understand the error of their ways but ultimately show them that life in the West is better than traipsing around the desert chasing a twisted ideal. The UN gets this – we need it in Iraq, Syria and anywhere else these kids end up (http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/issues/ddr.shtml).

Plus, what’s the difference between someone who fights for Daesh and someone who fights for the Syrian Moderate Opposition? As far as this Government is concerned, nothing. That’s got to change.

The policy for dealing with extremism starts at home.

TAS
TAS
September 27, 2014 12:27 pm

Chuck, thanks! On that basis I’ll stick with Daesh!

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 27, 2014 1:25 pm

@TAS – Good article on that subject by Geoffrey Robertson QC in the October Edition of Standpoint Magazine (not clever enough to post a link, I’m afraid). He is a Human Rights Specialist, so not obviously a member of the hang-em and flog-em brigade…but he believes that British Law as it currently stands would allow any returning member to be charged with “Participating in a crime against humanity” simply for having joined them in the first place, and leaving aside any specific offences they might committed…and they can be tried for that in a British Court and if found guilty imprisoned for life…and he would advocate exactly that course.

Personally, I could live with that…and bearing in mind the number of “quartered safe out here with Daesh” texts, tweets and facebook messages GCHQ must have piled up by now, an awful lot of them could expect to banged-up for a very long time…unless they agreed whilst IN Prison to work their worthless bollocks off to try to dissuade others from following their own sorry course, and for as many years and decades as we required them to…

The least vile could then be released on license and closely monitored for any backsliding…the rest could expect to die in prison as drooling toothless geriatrics in fifty or sixty years time.

GNB

Martin
Editor
September 28, 2014 4:23 am

The issue with stripping people of citizenship is that its illegal and a violation of many international treaties. what we need to do is redesignate some uninhibited rock that is a sovereign UK territory and call it a new state then issue these people with new citizenship for said rock. Then we just have to make sure that no country on earth gives the people from the rock entry visas. Plenty of uninhibited rocks out near Pitcairn island. we could even airdrop supplies to them all and let them carry out their jihad thousands of miles away from civilised people.

Observer
Observer
September 28, 2014 6:18 am

Martin, I always thought that exile was a very appropriate form of punishment and that calling it a “human rights violation” was the loss of a massively useful tool. If someone can’t appreciate what he has, then he can do without.

Though your solution does have potential. Give the dissidents some little rock, though not a hellhole, and let them create their own little community there and see if they can make it. Offer anyone with the same goals free passage to said rock to aid their like minded brothers to create an “ideal” community and you might even head off trouble before it begins.

Martin
Editor
September 28, 2014 8:30 am

@ Observer – Yeah I was thinking some where nice enough where they could build a viable community. As long as it allows us to legally strip them of their passports then I think its worth While.

Waylander
Waylander
September 28, 2014 2:33 pm

The French strikes are apparently being carried out by 6 Rafales (supported by a KC-135 tanker) based at Al Dhafra.
It’s 600 miles from RAF Akrotiri to Mosul, but nearly twice that distance from Abu Dhabi to Mosul, so
you would think the French will have more difficulty sustaining the operation.
There was an article in the Cyprus Mail which quoted the Cypriot defence minister saying that
French jets could operate from the island, not from Akrotiri, but from some Cypriot National
Guard airbase.

monkey
monkey
September 28, 2014 2:53 pm

and Observer
Soon we can strip people of the British Nationality this part Bill will be nodded through IMHO.
In January 2014, the Immigration Bill 2013-14 planned to extend the powers of the Home Secretary to allow for certain terror suspects to be declared stateless. The bill was initially blocked by the House of Lords in April 2014.[However the Lords reconsidered their decision on the bill during May 2014, and it has now returned to the commons before being set into UK law.
http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/04/09/ask-the-experts-deprivation-of-citizenship-qa-this-friday/
Napoleon’s old residence is still in British Hands , St Helena.
I like the name too. St Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta is revered as a saint by the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, and the Anglican as well as commemorated by the Lutheran Church.She was mother to Consataine the Great who made the Roman Empire Christian :-)

Rocket Banana
September 28, 2014 4:02 pm

Someone mentioned that there are likely to be limited targets.

Is this really true?

Is local Iraqi ground recce intel that poor?

What have our Tornados been doing if they haven’t been finding targets?

I must say that I’d have thought this is a rather good excuse to debut UAVs since they’re pretty good at surveillance and loitering (call in) strike. A couple of Paveway IV and four Brimstone on a Reaper would be great… shame they’re not integrated :-(

Observer
Observer
September 28, 2014 4:15 pm

Simon, wrong context. My point was not that there are limited targets but that you are going to have a hell of a time sorting them out from innocent civilians in the cities where they ran into. If you simply want to do a scorched earth no survivors left kind of campaign, then yes, you have lots of targets. In that case, I would recommend leaving the SDBs behind and start reusing cluster munitions and napalm or go nuclear. If you prefer to leave innocent city dwellers alive, I think a bit more care is needed in target identification.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 28, 2014 7:15 pm

@Monkey – Also a Yorkshire barmaid, who caught his father Constantius eye when he was serving in York…good blood, that lad Constantine… :-)

GNB

TAS
TAS
September 28, 2014 8:41 pm

Simon, really? Come on, you’re not that stupid. What targets? The massed ranks of tanks and artillery flying black flags? The terrorist headquarters on top of a mountain with sharks swimming in the moat with lasers on their heads? These bastards are fully blended into the population, they are not an occupying army. How are you differentiating between Daesh fighters, local militias and Sunni tribesmen fighting for or against whoever? Syria and Iraq is a massive ungoverned space where the enemy has the home advantage, and if you bomb the wrong group you will just split and shatter further what little cohesion is left, making it impossible for any government, let alone the Iraqi, Syrian or Kurdish governments. Think carefully, check and check again, then shoot. Major setbacks could hang on a single Brimstone.

TAS
TAS
September 28, 2014 8:56 pm

Anyway Simon, you ask if Iraqi ground recce is poor? Yes – they all ran away, remember?

Mark
Mark
September 28, 2014 9:41 pm

Is what we are doing really that different to what we did between 1991 and 2003 when we patrolled the northern and southern no fly, only instead of containing the Iraq army from destroying its own people and threatening it neighbours we are providing the enabling capability for Iraq and Kurdish forces to reestablish the Iraq border and return a modicome of governance to a lawless place, much like what we may be doing in afghan come then end of this year we’re providing overwatch with a capability simply not available to the local forces and a decisive one at that.

What’s happening in Syria much more difficult to predict.

Rocket Banana
September 29, 2014 7:15 am

TAS,

As Observer pointed out, I got the wrong end of the stick. Less limited in numbers and more limited in accessibility.

Anyway the point remains that if they’re that “blended” then they need flushing out and/or discovering and tracking in situ (i.e. ground forces). Are the Iraqi army up to the task?

Doesn’t it also suggest that with limited “call ins” (simply due to the difficultly in locating an engageable target) that a UAV would be a better bet. Their cost per flying hour would be significantly less than keeping jets in the air and at 600nm I’d suggest the response time is going to hamper any rapid reaction for Mr Big moving from A to B in his truck.

Observer
Observer
September 29, 2014 11:41 am

Simon, what is needed is identification papers to sort the real city dwellers from the guys who slip in through the border. Unless your UAV can flag someone down and ask “Papers please?”, you’re still not going to solve the problem because all a UAV sees is Person A, human, black clothes. Person B, human, black clothes. Person C… how the hell does it know what the guy’s leanings are unless you are all so lucky to catch a glimpse of a RPG hidden in his clothes.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 29, 2014 11:47 am

@Simon – “they need flushing out…are the Iraqi army up to the task?” – probably not, but those Armies that are aren’t going, so what are the alternatives?

GNB

Rocket Banana
September 29, 2014 1:27 pm

Observer,

Understood but the UAV would still be “reacting” to requests from ground forces. I don’t think the UAV on its own is much good. It still needs the Iraqi army bods to do your paper search thing. It would however allow a target to be reacquired following a vector and description thus making Mr Big think he got through and allowing us to track his movements and contacts.

Gloomy,

I don’t know. I was hoping someone else would explain how we actually achieve some level of success this time :-(

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 29, 2014 7:50 pm

@Simon…my money’s on mission creep, starting with discreetly managed FAC…but it will take some time…

…and more dead innocents. :-(

GNB