The President has directed the Pentagon to intensify its analysis of options for degrading the capabilities of the ISIS extremists inside Syria, but whatever those options are, “they won’t be just military,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday. The military has been considering Syria as it has examined possible additional actions against ISIS in Iraq, but it is “not prepared for a more fulsome discussion” with the President, Kirby said at a Pentagon briefing Friday. Kirby strongly rejected a reporter’s assertion that the delay in presenting options means the military is not ready for any action against ISIS. Although the detailed planning has not been completed, “no one should doubt we are ready,” he said. Kirby said the military considers ISIS a threat to the nation, “but we believe they do not have the capacity today to make a major strike on the homeland.” The US has conducted about 110 airstrikes in Iraq, mostly near the vital Mosul Dam, because ISIS still threatens it. Kirby said the Iraqi operations cost an average of $7.5 million a day, which after roughly 75 days would total about $560 million, coming from the overseas contingency fund.
March 4, 2024
The Air Force has published images of an operational hypersonic Air-Launched Rapid-Response Weapon (ARRW) in Guam; a disclosure possibly meant to send a message to China but which raises questions about the future of the ARRW, which the Air Force insists it is not planning to procure in quantity.