You don’t have to be an expert in 4th Generation Warfare to know that the US decision to resort to air strikes against the Islamic State was going to backfire:
The U.S.-led air war in Syria has gotten off to a rocky start, with even the Syrian rebel groups closest to the United States turning against it, U.S. ally Turkey refusing to contribute and the plight of a beleaguered Kurdish town exposing the limitations of the strategy.
U.S. officials caution that the strikes are just the beginning of a broader strategy that could take years to carry out. But the anger that the attacks have stirred risks undermining the effort, analysts and rebels say.
The main beneficiary of the strikes so far appears to be President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have taken advantage of the shift in the military balance to step up attacks against the moderate rebels designated by President Obama as partners of the United States in the war against extremists.
The U.S. targets have included oil facilities, a granary and an electricity plant under Islamic State control. The damage to those facilities has caused shortages and price hikes across the rebel-held north that are harming ordinary Syrians more than the well-funded militants, residents and activists say.
At the start of the air campaign, dozens of U.S. cruise missiles were fired into areas controlled by the moderate rebels, who are supposed to be fighting the Islamic State. Syrians who had in the past appealed for American intervention against Assad have been staging demonstrations denouncing the United States and burning the American flag.
If there is one person who desperately needs to read William S. Lind’s forthcoming ON WAR, it is Barack Obama. And it wouldn’t hurt if whoever is presently in charge of the US military response to the Islamic State would do so as well.