Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who was chosen to be the new commander general of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria on Oct. 1, rebuked the idea of carpet bombing as a means of sending a message to ISIS.
MacFarland is right the large-scale bombing of Syria and Iraq is unwarranted and will not solve any problems. The only thing that will come out of this is more anger and more enemies.
“Indiscriminate bombing where we don’t care if we are killing innocents or combatants is just inconsistent with our values,” MacFarland told CNN.
MacFarland wanted the public to understand that the U.S. military won’t let this type of brash and ignorant strategy play out.
MacFarland addressed the public in order to push back against Sen. Ted Cruz, who said during one of the Republican presidential debates that he would “carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion.”
Cruz even stated that he would like to see “if sand can glow in the dark.”
As ridiculous as his statement is, Cruz does try to come up with quick answers to the concerns of people who think this bombing might be a bad idea.
“You would carpet bomb where ISIS is … not a city, but the location of the troops,” Cruz said, responding to how a bomber can differentiate between civilians and terrorists in such a small area.
But with this comes a question of certainty. In large cities where ISIS militants successfully blend into civilian lives, there are bound to be some casualties.
“Conventional bombing of German and Japanese cities failed to end World War II,” said Steve Chapman writer for the Chicago Tribune.
Even with that answer, Cruz still seems to be blinded by his hubris. ABC News moderator Martha Raddatz tried to clarify Cruz’s stance during Saturday’s debate, but still could not get him to either come up with a good answer, or at least understand that it could cause more of an uproar if these carpet bombs were to hit civilians.
When he was asked how carpet bombing is the best strategy to defeat ISIS given the groups anonymity, Cruz responded, “Overwhelming air power. It is one of the blessings of the United States of America having the greatest military on the face of the earth is we have the ability to use that air power.”
Cruz’s artful ability to dodge the question was worthy of applause.
“We should use overwhelming force, kill the enemy and then get the heck out,” he said, articulating his plan to break ISIS down one by one.
But this still will not solve the problem with ISIS. What Cruz does not understand is that ISIS is not a traditional enemy. They are not lined up on the other side of the battlefield with their guns drawn and their flag waved, waiting for the gunshot to charge.
“People who use that terminology don’t understand ISIS and they don’t understand warfare,” said Christopher Harmer, former U.S. Navy officer.
Hopefully, with all of this combative evidence, Cruz will start accepting MacFarland’s dogma: “It doesn’t only matter if you win, it matters how you win.”