American bombers and fighter aircraft dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on suspected militant hide-outs, storehouses and defensive positions in the southern outskirts of Baghdad on Thursday, the United States military said.38 bombings in 10 minutes in Baghdad alone. Operation Phantom Phoenix is nationwide, so I'd assume many more air operations throughout the country, especially in Miqdadiyah (in Diyala province) and Samarra (source). That is a bad thing.
In one of the largest airstrikes in recent months, two B-1 and four F-16 aircraft dropped 38 bombs within 10 minutes near the Latifiya district south of Baghdad, the military said. The airstrikes were accompanied by a large Iraqi and American ground assault.
Airpower --> collateral damage --> pissed off Iraqis --> creating more insurgents --> bad counterinsurgency practice. Airpower in terms of dropping bombs didn't work for the Israelis in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, and it hasn't worked for the US in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"No, we don't use airstrikes because we don't have enough troops. We use airstrikes because they're in our repertoire."
Check out this Abu Muqawama post on airpower in counterinsurgency if you are interested.
Also on Iraq, this piece by Brian Katulis and classmate Peter Juul on "Four Ticking Time Bombs" in regards to Iraq:
- The collapse of “bottom up” reconciliation among Sunnis
- Increased instability in northern Iraq
- The continuing plight of refugees and internally displaced Iraqis
- Continued deadlock among Iraq’s national political leaders