Friday, 15 August 2014

Defeating the invincible Caliphate would be simple but there is no will to save innocents abroad

In the aftermath of the murder of 3,000 New Yorkers on the morning of September 11 it had been rapidly ascertained that the perpetrators were Al Qaeda, well known to the authorities but not then to the general public.

The Al Qaeda high command was living in and operating out of Afghanistan. The country was ruled with a rod of iron by the Taliban, then regarded as very similar to the Islamic State today, ultra-fanatic, cruel, invincible. Their leader the one-eyed "mad" Mullah Omar refused to give up the mass-murderers. The Anglo-Americans invaded.

Our only allies were the Northern Alliance, then regarded like the Kurdish Peshmerga of today as a tiny force, underarmed and confined to their small enclave in far northeastern Afghanistan. We went in anyway but adding two elements to the Northern Alliance land force: fighter-bombers and target-spotters from our special forces.

Within two months the Northern Alliance had swept out of the enclave, stormed south through the Salang Pass, driven the Taliban out of the giant Bagram airbase and then out of Kabul, the capital.

Defeated they fled back to the south whence they had come. How on earth did we do it? The answer is simple.

There is no defence today against pin-accurate war from the air using rockets and bombs that never miss but the key is the target-spotter. From 10,000 feet the pilot can see only a vast tobacco-brown landscape. He cannot tell which house, which convoy of vehicles, which column of ant-like forms are the allies, the refugees or the enemy. But the spotter, invisible on his mountain peak, can. And he has his range-finder.

This extraordinary gizmo can work out with GPS technology exactly to the square yard where the target is.

With the grid reference passed up to the war plane, this can be programmed into the nose-cones of the rockets. After that it's "fire and forget".

The bloodhound nose-cone will streak down to destroy the target, accurate to the nearest 10 feet by 10 feet. There is no defence. Even the Taliban ran from this. Back then the American F-18 hornets were flying from US navy ships off the Pakistan coast hundreds of miles away.

It took hours of flying and several in-air re-fuels to get to the valleys of northern Afghanistan. That was where the British came in - our RAF flew the longrange KC-135 tankers.

There is a rumour the mass-murdering Islamic State is unbeatable. Rubbish.
In northern Iraq we have the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters eager to defend their homeland against the barbarians.
Next door is our friend and ally in Nato Turkey with excellent air bases. We have the planes, we have the talent, we have the best special forces in the world.

Could we save the Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and Shia Iraqis from conquest and slaughter? Yes we could.

And no, as with the defeat of the Taliban 12 years ago, not one regular soldier need set foot on the ground. Not one body need come back in a bag. This is the new face of warfare: do not invade, above all do not try to occupy but win from the air.

Despite some reports suggesting the situation on Mount Sinjar is not as awful as had been feared the Caliphate killers will still sweep onwards to Kurdistan.

Millions are still hoping for salvation from this evil scourge but no innocent was ever saved by yet another committee meeting.

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