Questions of War

The United States is back in the aerial war business again. We did manage to precipitate the fall of Muammar Gaddafi using aerial bombardment and the developing events afterwards have been nothing less than bloodthirsty and heedlessly violent. Now we have threat of Sunni extremists in the region of Syria/Iraq who go by the name of The Islamic State and we have been bombing them for weeks.

Our military learned in Afghanistan that an aerial war is far too indiscriminate to be effective. To see men digging next to a road at 30,000 feet is not the same as forward observers with binoculars. Afghani farmers share the scarce resource of water on a rigid timetable of shared irrigation. One digs up his valve and releases the water only to close the valve and bury it again on a fifteen or twenty minute schedule. The same farmer looks like a terrorist planting an I.E.D. from far above.

Does the new coalition have forward observers on the ground in Iraq and Syria? I doubt it. Then who are we bombing? Are we hitting the correct targets? Who is going to go out into this vast battlefield to identify targets and confirm misses and strikes?

The United States is not sending soldiers onto this battlefield. Who will?

Why is no one asking the hard questions?

By Glenn Jacob

Rabbi, Community Leader, Fundraiser, Board Development, Non-profit management, strategic planning, educator, writer, and editor.

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