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SundayThe ISIL Fight13 comments · 156 views
I haven't talked much about current military operations lately, but the stuff going on right now deserves some attention.
"Operation Inherent Resolve" as it is being called, is military action by multiple countries against the terrorist organization known as ISIL, ISIS, or IS depending on who you are. The US President says ISIL, so that's good enough for me.
Let's start with names. An operation has to have a name. Inherent Resolve is kind of dumb in my opinion, but at least we now have something to call it. Moving on to ISIL, the group has renamed itself several times. I was once told the US recognizes it as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant rather than Islamic State of Iraq and Syria because it sounds less offensive to Syria.
Oh yeah, we're worried about offending Syria, the government of which has killed about 200,000 of its own people, far more than ISIL. But we need Syria's cooperation to fly into their airspace and not give us a hard time.
But back to ISIL. Other terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida had always focused on controlling populations. ISIL is somewhat different in the fact that they operated with the goal of controlling territory. By capturing oil resources, banks, and other valuables, they were able to fund their rapid expansion. Barely anyone had ever heard of ISIL a year ago, but now they're about the most threatening terrorist group there is.
So what is being done? A number of countries are launching air strikes. The all-air plan isn't new, for example it happened during Operation Allied Force in the '90s in Kosovo. There are a few pros and cons. Having no ground troops (Competent ground troops. The Iraqi Army barely exists as a military.) to take advantage of the air strikes means they have less effect than normal. However, not putting troops on the ground helps keep our soldiers out of danger and reduces the things ISIL can use for propaganda.
The coalition to fight ISIL is composed of pretty much all the countries in the region as well as a significant fraction of NATO. Of course we're reluctant to share info with people like Syria and Iran, but they are fighting ISIL. Saudi Arabia is heavily invested, as is the UAE, Qatar, and a few others. From outside the Middle East, we have the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Netherlands doing airstrikes. Canada was already on the way, but since this terrorist shooting near their Parliment, they're hurrying up.
So how's it been going? I read an article the other day that the first month of airstrikes has killed 500 ISIL fighters. Wikipedia reports about 1000. The bombing also took away some of the oil resources that was earning ISIL a reported $1 million per day.
So ISIL awakened sleeping giants and are getting their asses kicked. If only it were that simple. ISIL recruiting is still going strong. I admit that I don't know much about the programs countries are working on to curtail that. The rapid rise of ISIL has been part of the factor in their strong recruitment. Very savvy social media has been another. They publish a magazine and regular state-of-the-organization reports! We need to find a way to make it not cool to join.
So this is what our military, or at least the Air Force and Navy, are going to be bombing for a while. The Pentagon has already stated that it could be years. But doing something is better than doing nothing, I guess.
So far, the US and UK are the only countries interveneing in both Iraq and Syria. Most other western countries are only going into Iraq. Most middle eastern countries are only going into Syria.
Sidebar: for you hardware nerds, here's some of the country contribution so far
US Air Force: AC-130, F-15E, F-16, B-1, dones, and the combat debut of the F-22
US Navy: carrier strike group with Hornets and Super Hornets, plus ships to launch missiles
US Marines: Harriers
UK: GR-4 Tornados
Australia: Super Hornets
Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark: F-16
3w, 13hArt8 comments · 119 views
7w, 6dReading3 comments · 99 views
CaptainBron3y has done a reading of Tourniquet:
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The Battleships Universe involves human/pony interactions through the use of interdimensional portals.
Stories listed in reasonably chronological order - Timeline here
1. Battleships are Magic (war/drama)
3.The Truth (crime/drama)
4.Wings of Gold (war/drama)
5.Pinkie's First Christmas on Earth (comedy)
6.Stupid Human Tricks (crime/comedy)
8.Fluttershy Visits Spetsnaz (comedy)
10.Lawers, Guns, and Money (comedy/bromance)
12.The Covert Mare Corps (comedy/drama)
13.As the Sun Rises, So Do We (drama)
14.The Start of Something New (comedy)
15-18 Sail Canvas Quadrilogy (comedy/drama)
Somewhat related side story: The Cutie Mark Crusaders Fly Delta Airlines (comedy) - written by V-pony
Now with a TV Tropes page!