I’m not big on coincidences. You know, like an unmarked cargo airplane with $400 million of laundered, palletized currency landing in the middle of the night in Iran, just as another plane with four American hostages takes off.I want to share with you some news, which on the surface just seems so very good. As reported by Fox News, “More than two years after the U.S. launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the Middle East, the commander overseeing the joint campaign said Wednesday as many as 45,000 ISIS-linked fighters had been killed.
“Although it’s no measure of success and its difficult to confirm, we estimate that over the past 11 months we’ve killed about 25,000 enemy fighters. When you add that to the 20,000 estimated killed prior to our arrival, that’s 45,000 enemies taken off the battlefield,” Army Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland told reporters at a news briefing.
“I only tell you this number to provide a sense to the scale of our support and perhaps explain why enemy resistance is beginning to crumble.”
MacFarland said civilians and ISIS administration officials have been forced into front line combat jobs including manning checkpoints, making them a less capable and “diminished” force. “We don’t see them operating nearly as effectively as they have in the past, which makes them even easier targets for us so as a result they’re attrition has accelerated here of late.”
The lieutenant general admitted this figure is no measure of success, and it’s difficult to confirm… interesting caveats. So, I’d like to know how does one confirm the exact number of 45,000 ISIS fighters killed over the past two years, especially 25,000 in the past 11 months? What are the precise measures to conduct such BDA (battlefield damage assessment)? I would challenge the assertion of ISIS being a “diminished” force, because we’ve begun airstrikes on the barbaric group in Libya. But, there’s another very integral reason for m skepticism and, as stated, I do not believe in coincidences. As reported by The Hill, “A House Republican task force has concluded that key military intelligence was manipulated to paint an unrealistically optimistic picture of the United States’ fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The report, set to be released later on Thursday, found that final intelligence assessments out of the Pentagon’s Central Command differed from on-the-ground conclusions, according to Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), a member of the task force.
“The facts on the ground didn’t match what the intelligence was saying out of the United States Central Command,” Pompeo said on CBS’s “This Morning.”
“There’s enormous evidence about how this information from talented career professionals inside the analytic arm at CENTCOM did their job and accurately depicted what was going on the ground,” he added.“But when it got to very senior levels, that information was changed.” According to CBS, the task force did not find evidence that orders to manipulate intelligence were directed from the White House. The findings appear to confirm reports about the politicization of military intelligence and could be explosive for the Obama administration.”
We all know the immediate retort from the progressive socialist left will be, “Ha! It’s a House Republican Task Force, go figure.” Well, except for one thing, which we previously shared, this investigation was the result of fifty CENTCOM whistleblowers.This represents a very serious issue for the U.S. military — if we now must be concerned about accurate intelligence reports from headquarters such as CENTCOM. And this is why one has to, sadly, question the assessment from LTG MacFarland, because it’s gotten to this point where we cannot trust anything emanating from this Obama administration.
Simply understood, BDA comes from on-the-ground assessments. It comes from having an order of battle of the enemy and being able to directly analyze the defeat of formations on the battlefield. Heck, we are struggling in America under this administration to control illegal immigration — well actually, it’s managed very well. They just establish sanctuary cities and provide $342 million to said municipalities.
Another interesting point about the manipulation of intelligence is, what was the original strength of ISIS in the first place? I’d seen some reports putting them at 70,000 to 75,000 at the onset. And I’m perplexed trying to grasp LTG MacFarland’s declaration that 20,000 ISIS fighters were killed before the United States began airstrikes in August 2014. And we know there were times when our strikes were minuscule and pilots reported returning with full ordnance due to restrictive ROE (rule of engagement).
“The Obama administration has frequently heralded the military gains against ISIS in its self-proclaimed caliphate, even as the extremist group has expanded its operations around the globe.
Last year, dozens of intelligence analysts reportedly complained that their assessments about the group were either repressed or manipulated to make the U.S.’s efforts appear more effective than they were. Those complaints were relayed to the Pentagon’s inspector general, which has opened an investigation into the matter. House Republicans on the Armed Services, Intelligence and Appropriations committees opened an investigation of their own last December.”
My question is simple, why was it that Democrats on the House Armed Services, Intelligence and Appropriations committees decided not to participate in this investigation? The only reasonable deduction is that as long as it’s “their guy” they couldn’t care less. After all, “what difference at this point does it make?”