Last week the U.S. began conducting airstrikes in Syria as part of its war against the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL). The Obama administration is deliberately hitting oil fields under ISIS control in order to hit them in the moneymaker. American military leaders were quick to say, "The strikes were successful."
An ISIS fighter under the pseudonym Abu Talha tells CNN that's a lot of hot air:
We've been ready for this for some time. … We know that our bases are known because they're tracking us with radars and satellites, so we had backup locations. …
We have revenues other than oil. We have other avenues, and our finances are not going to stop just because of oil losses. …
They thought they knew everything. But thank God, they don't know anything. And God willing, we will defeat the infidels.
They hit us in some areas, and we advance in other. … If we are pushed back in Iraq, we advance in northern Syria. These strikes cannot stop us, our support or our fighters
Can we take his word for it? If not, the former head of the U.K.'s military also says that airstrikes aren't going to work.
President Barack Obama acknowledged yesterday that his administration has "underestimated" the Islamic State.
America's bombing campaign could cost as much as $10 billion a year, according to Foreign Affairs.
Several foreign policy voices have said American airstrikes run the serious risk of bringing together ISIS with other anti-American jihadists while angering moderate rebels that have previously been pro-U.S.
Reuters reports today that "U.S.-led air strikes hit grain silos and other targets in Islamic State-controlled territory in northern and eastern Syria overnight, killing civilians and wounding militants."
As Reason's Peter Suderman highlights, despite Obama's insistence that he won't get America tangled up in a ground war, the vast majority of Americans believe the fight against ISIS will expand beyond airstrikes to include ground troops.