It’s called an air force, if you don’t have one you’re at the mercy of anyone who has one, and this is the main reason why Islamic militants can never win over nations that have an air force, or drone force.
The effectiveness of an air force can be seen in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) which recently flattened large portions of the Gaza strip.
Hamas may have had the bravado to go up against such a force, but they unleashed a torrent of smart missiles upon themselves and the poor civilians caught in the cross fire.
ISIS in Iraq are a similar story; they may be adept at land incursions but they do not have drones or aircraft, therefore they are impotent in the face of superior forces with air support. Naturally, as in Gaza there would be terrible civilian casualties, but if the civilians have not fled that area already then it’s a problem they will have to incur.
As ISIS moves towards Baghdad, the faltering U.S. president may have to act somewhere along the line, as much as it is against his grain to act decisively, his generals must be barking in his ear that the time to act is now.
The only thing stopping America is its balance sheet. Each missile fired costs over a quarter of a million dollars. With an economy near bankruptcy, can the U.S. afford to fire off millions of dollars they do not have?
Further variables exist with any air campaign, without ground forces present mapping out targets, the air force would be shooting blind. No doubt there must be some intelligence on Iraqi soil right now, but is it enough? All ISIS would have to do is dig in and wait for the air threat to subside before resuming operations.
Unless ISIS militants suddenly acquire F16s and Apache gunfighters, as well as read up a few manuals in a few hours, they would be sitting ducks to any air onslaught.
The decision is yours Mr. President.