En Pentagon-rapport kan fortelle at bare hvert fjerde bombetokt mot IS ender med at det slippes bomber. Kampanjen går på lavbluss. I snitt har det bare vært fem bombetokt om dagen, i Irak og Syria samlet.

I Libya fløy man 50 om dagen.

Flyene mangler mål, og på gå på leting etter dem.

The vast majority of bombing runs, including the weekend strike near Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, are now searching for targets of opportunity, such as checkpoints, artillery pieces and combat vehicles in the open.

But only one of every four strike missions — some 800 of 3,200 — dropped its weapons, according to the military’s Central Command.

Kritikere sier prosessen med å finne mål går for sakte, og det utvises for stor forsiktighet. Man er redd for å treffe sivile mål. Det deltar også for få fly.

Critics of the air campaign describe an often cumbersome process to approve targets of opportunity, and say there are too few warplanes carrying out too few missions under too many restrictions. To some veterans of past air wars, the campaign fails to apply the unrelenting pressure needed to help fulfill Mr. Obama’s objective to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist organization.


Through mid-October, the overall operation against the Islamic State was costing the Defense Department more than $8 million a day, or $580 million since airstrikes began in Iraq on Aug. 8. But senior American officers acknowledge the limitations of air power, and say the campaign is more about providing breathing room to build up Iraqi and Syrian ground forces than an all-out effort to destroy ISIS from the skies.

“The airstrikes are buying us time. They aren’t going to solve the problem by themselves,” said Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff and a former top commander in Iraq. “It’s going to take people on the ground, ground forces.”

General Odierno said the priority was developing “indigenous forces” to retake territory from ISIS. “Over time, if that’s not working, then we’re going to have to reassess, and we’ll have to decide whether we think it’s worth putting other forces in there, to include U.S. forces,” he said.


The allied air campaign is being run out of the allied command center at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, led by Lt. Gen. John W. Hesterman III of the Air Force.