The Logic of Violence
Kevin Drum attempts to distinguish between political posturing and real foreign policy in response to the Paris attacks on Mother Jones.
On Sunday night, France launched a series of airstrikes against ISIS in retaliation for the Paris attacks. The Washington Post called it a “furious assault.” The New York Times called it “aggressive,” CNN said it was a “major bombardment,” and McClatchy called it a “fierce bombing campaign.” The French themselves called it “massive,” and the LA Times, Fox News, and the Guardian agreed.
The French assault comprised 10 aircraft and 20 bombs.
Since the beginning of the American-led air campaign against ISIS, the coalition has launched 8,000 airstrikes and dropped about 22,000 bombs on ISIS sites in Iraq and Syria. In other words, we’ve been launching about 17 airstrikes and dropping nearly 50 bombs per day. Every day. For over a year.
And yet this campaign is routinely described as feckless and weak.
We could certainly amp up the air campaign against ISIS, especially if we take Ted Cruz’s advice and stop worrying about civilian casualties. But I guess I’d like to hear specifics. How many airstrikes do you think we need? We’ve done hundreds per day for short periods in other wars. Is that enough? Should we start ignoring Turkey and Iraq and our other allies and bomb wherever and whenever we want? Do you think that will be enough to put ISIS out of business?
Inquiring minds want to know. If President Obama’s current campaign against ISIS is feeble and timid, what kind of campaign do you want? Can we hear some details, please?
Cross-posted from The Sensible Center