Because drones have done so much for the “we love American exceptionalism” belief across the middle east, the US decided that since last year, secretly flying unmanned surveillance aircraft over Iraq – to collect intelligence of insurgents – would be good idea. The intelligence (and use the term loosely) was share with Iraqi forces but as WSJ reports, one secnior US official admitted “It’s not like it did any good,” as the rapid territorial gains by the Islamist forces loyal to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, caught the U.S. by surprise.
The program was limited in size and proved little use to U.S. and Iraqi officials when Islamist fighters moved swiftly this week to seize two major Iraqi cities, the officials said.
Before the Islamist offensive, the program was expanded based on growing U.S. and Iraqi concerns about the expanded military activities of al Qaeda-linked fighters.
Officials wouldn’t say what types of drones were being used but said the flights were conducted only for surveillance purposes.
Following this total clusterfuck, administration and military officials say they are drawing up short- and long-term options to combat the Islamist threat in Iraq.
The shortlist ranges from possible U.S. airstrikes, intelligence sharing and accelerated delivery of military equipment already in the pipeline.
Long-term options include expanded training of Iraqi and Kurdish forces, officials said.
We are sure this will all end well..