Friday, 22 September 2017
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militaryoperations

Before the New Year, Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper aircraft conducted airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, reports the UK Defence Journal. According to an MoD press release:

"A precision guided Paveway IV weapon was used to destroy a Islamic State artillery position and weapons cache on the outskirts of Mosul. Concealed amongst trees under dense foliage, the Tornado was able to locate and score a hit against the Islamic State target.

A further weapons stockpile was targeted, this time in Mosul, by a Tornado-launched Brimstone weapon. The terrorist weapons were successful destroyed by a direct hit. The same Tornado formation was then tasked to a target in Syria, two kilometres north of Palmyra.

A Brimstone weapon was used in a precision attack to destroy a Islamic State artillery weapon which was mounted on a truck. Tornado aircraft conducted thorough checks before each strike to ensure that no civilians were put at risk.

Typhoon aircraft were also performing close air support duties over Iraq, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker. Reaper remotely piloted aircraft struck three targets in Mosul, assisting Iraqi troops on the ground. Three Hellfire missiles were launched against three separate Islamic State targets, including a mortar team hidden under a tree line."

Although often under reported, drone strikes or claims of them continue mainly in Afghanistan, but also in Somalia and Yemen. On the next page is a round up of alleged drone strikes in June 2016. Strikes by manned aircraft, often with indistinguishable effect, are excluded where identified as such.

"Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course...it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"."

Opening Monologue - The Prestige

Breaking an enemies 'will and cohesion' is what we tell good manoeuvrists to do, but we spend remarkably little time discussing with them how to do it. Study days and courses throughout the Armed Forces a filled with the various rather vague sentiments such as 'influence is everything and everything is influence', 'create and utilise dynamic narratives', or 'all ops are psyops'. But as soon as this sentiment is expressed quickly the subject returns to thinking about a problem from the perspective of this are that unit or formation's perspective. This is not that surprising, we control what we do and we don't control what an enemy does.

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