Obama threatens air strikes: reading between the lines

This is not in any way a deprecation of President Obama’s response to the Iraq crisis. It is simply a very juicy an opportunity to illuminate news interpretation, and I don’t think any jihadists read this blog anyway.

Preparing target lists for modern, smart munitions is a complex task, involving choice of delivery systems, logistics, aerial surveillance, and much number crunching of target coordinates. It also requires knowing where the friendlies, i.e., the Iraqi Army, are located, which, owing to the rout, is not currently known.

Normally, it’s a terrible mistake to telegraph a punch. Why give the jihadists a chance to get their MANPADs on their shoulders? Why clue them to watch the sky?

A reasonable deduction from Obama’s threat is that the the situation is so fluid, it is not currently known where to conduct airstrikes, and that the conditions of the second paragraph have not been satisfied.


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