Due to an Obama administration policy that is aimed to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, U.S. military pilots who have returned home from the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq have definitively stated they were unable to obtain clearance to launch strikes and in turn were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their weaponry on terror targets, The Washington Free Beacon
According to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., the policy is coming under attack by military leaders who believe it has enabled ISIS to gain strength within the region.
You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can't drop, we can't get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us," Royce said.
"I don't understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit."
While Jack Keane, a retired four-star U.S. general, agreed with Royce's evaluation of the policy, he noted that it's not only severely "constricting the U.S.," but he believes it has "been an absurdity from the beginning."
"Believe me, the French are in there not using the restrictions we have imposed on our pilots," Keane added.
And the same goes for Russians, he said, adding, "They don't care at all about civilians."
Pentagon officials, however, are sticking to the policy despite the heavy criticism.
"The bottom line is that we will not stoop to the level of our enemy and put civilians more in harm's way than absolutely necessary," a Pentagon official told the Free Beacon.
"The fact that aircraft go on missions and don't strike anything is not out of the norm," the official said.
"Despite U.S. strikes being the most precise in the history of warfare, conducting strike operations in the heavily populated areas where ISIL hides certainly presents challenges. We are fighting an enemy who goes out of their way to put civilians at risk. However, our pilots understand the need for the tactical patience in this environment. This fight against ISIL is not the kind of fight from previous decades."
However, despite President Barack Obama's "zero civilian casualties" policy in the fight against ISIS, a new NBC poll
released Thursday found that at least 70 percent of Americans are in favor expanding the fight against the Islamic group.
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