French air-force chief Mercier has blasted US forces for going after soft targets in Syria and failing to engage the Islamic State’s “centres of gravity”.
In an interview this week, Général d’armée aérienne Denis Mercier, chief of staff of the French Air Force blasted US tactics, saying they were wasting their time bombing “150 pick-up trucks a day” instead of taking out the command and control structure. He compared the present mission to the campaign to take out General Gadaffi in Libya, in which France played a significant role, reports TheLocal.fr.
The general said: “In Libya we went after [Libyan leader] Kadhafi’s centres of gravity… it was by attacking these centres that we managed to topple Kadhafi, not by firing at 150 pick-up trucks a day. Otherwise we would still be there.
“It is exactly the same problem in Iraq today. We are shooting at the frontline but behind that we need to concentrate on the centres of gravity.”
As is the nature of modern air campaigns, taking out even un-armoured targets can be exceptionally expensive. As Breitbart London reported at the commencement of operation Shader last year, taking out pick-up trucks could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds per target in munitions alone, with operating and staff costs for putting war-planes in the skies above Iraq costing considerably more.
In just one operation last year, Royal Air Force planes took out one un-armoured pick-up truck and one “other vehicle”, using four advanced anti-tank Brimstone missiles – at a cost of nearly half a million pounds.