(ZIP) -- Along with the micromanaging of the bombing targets, the pilots say the lack of ground forces to direct airstrikes are severely limiting their effectiveness. Both of these factors are directly traced back to Obama.
Via Daily Beast:
Within the U.S. Air Force, there’s mounting frustration that the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is moving far more slowly than expected. Instead of the fast-moving operation with hundreds of sorties flown in a single day— the kind favored by many in the air service—American warplanes are hitting small numbers of targets after a painstaking and cumbersome process.
The single biggest problem, current and former Air Force officers say, is the so-called “kill-chain” of properly identifying and making sure the right target is being attacked. At the moment, that process is very complicated and painfully slow.
“The kill-chain is very convoluted,” one combat-experienced Air Force A-10 Warthog pilot told The Daily Beast. “Nobody really has the control in the tactical environment.”
A major reason why: the lack of U.S. ground forces to direct American air power against ISIS positions. Air power, when it is applied in an area where the enemy is blended in with the civilian population, works best when there are troops on the ground are able to call in strikes. From the sky, it can be hard to tell friend from foe. And by themselves, the GPS coordinates used to guide bombs aren’t nearly precise enough; landscape and weather can throw the coordinates off by as much as 500 feet. The planes need additional information from the guys on the ground. The only other option is to use laser-guided bombs, but even then the target has to be correctly indentified before hand.
But putting the specialized troops the Pentagon calls “Joint Terminal Air Controllers” or JTACs into combat comes with a cost. “The problem with putting JTACs on the ground is that once you get American boots on the ground, and one of those guys gets captured and beheaded on national TV or media,” the A-10 pilot said.