ISIS Tactics and Objective

The fighting tactic used by ISIS, the terrorist group operating in Iraq, consists in launching a fast and surprise attack on an unprepared town, wreacking havoc to spread terror, and then take off as soon as possible in order to minimize the group’s casualties. Not giving the stricken population time to recover, they attack again a second time, with all their strength, but this time they stay and capture the town. ISIS’ members also kidnap Western journalists and constructors, who are executed by cutting their throats. Soon, videos of these executions are uploaded into internet in order to draw political attention, attrack more volunteers, and cause even more terror in Iraq and in the Western World.

The foreign volunteers that join ISIS are usually used as suicide bombers, on foot or driving a car full of explosives. Even though they do not have air superiority, ISIS has a huge arsenal, about 30% of the former Iraqi Army’s weapons, which include American-made ones. In order to carry out their military and terrorist tactics, they have Russian-made T-55 and Chinese-made T72 tanks, artillery pieces, anti-tank missiles and rocket-launchers, mortars, machine-guns, etc. Furthermore, ISIS is constantly being supplied with new weapons from Syria and Saudi Arabia by powerful religious groups.

ISIS’ Final objective

The purpose of these Islamic terrorist group is to establish a large caliphate that stretches from Afghanistan to Spain and from Turkey to Ethipia. Then capture the whole European continent with the help of the Islamic people living there. Like al-Qaeda, this new terrorist group take advantage of the lax immigration policies of the European countries. The ineffectual immigration regulation and laws arise from the human rights charter of the European Union and of the UN, which is the Western World Achilles’ Heel.

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Military Differences Between WWI and WWII

The military differences between World War I and World War II was that the former armed conflict was a static kind of warfare, in which, due to the massive use of machine guns and modern cannons and howitzers, armies were forced to dig complex trench systems and bunkers to protect their men from lethal artillery barrages and, thus, avoid high casualty rates; also, these modern automatic weapons, which were the byproducts of the Second Industrial Revolution, meant the end of cavalry, forcing army generals to use the large amount of available mounted soldiers as infantry units. To conquer ground, generals ordered futile infantry attacks on well-protected enemy positions that cost thousands of lives in one single assault only to gain perhaps a mere three hundred yards, to be thrown back again by an enemy counter-attack. In order to break the static nature of World War I and get the infantry out of the trenches to effectively conquer enemy-held territory, the military developed the first tanks, which, not only provided protection against machine gun fire, but also overcame the battlefield obstacles, such as barbed wire and trenches. However, these tanks were still primitive and, as a result, the advance was still slow and costly. Furthermore, during the Great War, military aviation was in a rudimentary stage and its effective use was limited to reconnaissance and dog fights against enemy pilots in the sky as aircraft consisted of slow and flimsy biplanes and triplanes. Since cavalry no longer functioned and armored vehicles and aviation were still in diapers, I dare to say the infantry and artillery were the queens of the battlefields in World War I.

In contrasts, World War II was a dynamic and mobile warfare, owing to the introduction of Blitzkrieg by the Germans; it was also multi-front, as it was widely fought, with several theater of operations. Although new and devastating weapons were used for the first time, neither sides employed chemicals, such as mustard gas, as in the Great War. The Germans were able to successfully carry out the Blitzkrieg concept thanks to the availability of faster tanks, with accurate and powerful guns, and, above all, the modern attack aircraft. The German Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka” was the Wehrmacht devastating flying artillery that provided timely support to spearhead mechanized infantry units. Tanks became the new, armored modern cavalry and the Germans were the first to use them in single concentrated armored units (not mixed with the infantry). The attack aircraft were used in synchronicity with tanks divisions, which were employed to punch holes in the enemy front lines and thus be able to encircle and trap enemy units. Perhaps, the only battle that was static in this war, as it was fought for months, was the Battle of Stalingrad, but it was an urban type of warfare, which is different from a trench one. World War II was also characterized by massive use of medium and heavy bombers to destroy factories and cities with the objectives of crippling the enemy industrial capacity and demoralizing the civilian populations; this is called carpet bombing and was intensive and extensively used by the Allies, employing incendiary bombs to destroy civilian buildings. The fire bombings of Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo are examples of carpet bombing. World War II was also the first armed conflict in the history of mankind in which more civilians died than military, due the Jewish Holocaust, carpet bombing, and the first use of nuclear weapons.

Vertical Envelopment

Vertical envelopment is a military tactic in which paratroopers or elite forces drop behind enemy lines and on the flanks, with the objective to sever their supply lines and weaken their strongest positions, encircling enemy ground units and subjecting them to a vice-like, crushing attack from front and rear. There are three ways to get troops behind enemy lines: by parachute, using gliders, and from helicopters. The first military unit to conduct vertical envelopment in history, using parachutes and gliders, was the German 7th Fallschirmjäger Flieger Division, when they attacked the Belgium fortresses of Eben Emael in May 1940 at the beginning of the Battle of France; while the German paratroopers captured the Belgian bunkers and bridges, a Wehrmacht mechanized division carried out a frontal attack on the Belgian forward positions, from east to west.

Shock & Awe (Weapons)

Shock & awe is a military tactic which consists in the use of powerful weapons to quickly overwhelm enemy forces on the field, rendering them unable to recover by destroying the strongest positions, communication centers, and severing the supply lines. Surprise is a key element in shock & awe, depriving the enemy of precious time to rally their scattered forces. However, in order to apply this military tactic, powerful and smart weapons, launched from distant platforms, are needed for the initial and surprise attack; the approach of these lethal weapons to the targets to be hit must not be detected, thus stealth is another key element. This shocking and shaking initial attack must be followed by vertical envelopment or encirclement maneuvers, using elite troops, tanks and attack helicopters to consolidate the conquest.

Weapons used in Shock and Awe

1- Cruise missiles (BGM-109 Tomahawk, Storm Shadow, KEPD 350, Delilah)

2- Smart bombs (GBU-28 Bunker-buster, GBU-37, GBU-39)

3- Long range bombers (B-1, B-2, B-52)

4- Fighters & attack aircraft (F-22, F-15E, F/A-18, Typhoon, Rafale)

5- Submarines and surface warships

6- Aircraft carriers

7- Main Battle Tanks

8- Attack Helicopters

9- Drones

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Hindenburg Line

Known as the Siegfriedstellung in German, the Hindenburg Line was a World War I, German, defensive line of trenches, reinforced with concrete artillery emplacement fortifications, machine gun nests and barbed wire, stretching from the French city of Lens, in the north, to Verdun, in the northeast, for about 250 km. It was constructed in late 1916, across a bulge that protruded into Allied-held territory, as a second defensive line or last ditch positions. In September 1918, during the Hundred Days Offensive, the Canadian 2nd Division outflanked it, making it possible for the British and French forces to breach it. It was named after Paul von Hindenburg, German field marshal, who ordered to build it.

US Tactical Air Support in WWII

In 1940, the German Luftwaffe had proved that aircraft, such as the Junker Ju 87 “Stuka”, could successfully be used as mobile artillery in support of spearhead ground units in the Battle of France. Despite the effectiveness of the tactical air support of the German Blitzkrieg, the US Army Air Corps was unwilling to carry out infantry support missions against enemy targets, such as enemy tanks and artillery units, when the United States entered World War II in 1941. Nevertheless, by 1944, Air Corps General Quesada rectified this military shortcoming and assigned special teams of pilots to support spearhead ground units. Thus, the Ninth Air Force would have seven tactical fighter/bomber groups and one photo-reconnaissance group, equipped with P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft, operating in the European theater.

Each American Army spearhead unit had an AAF radio teams. Tactical Air Liaison Officers in forward units would drive jeeps equipped with radios. They would guide P-47 and P-51 fighters (used in the ground-attack role) to enemy targets, such as German armored units. The Liaison officers would use ground fire smoke and WP rounds to mark target for the American pilots.

In the Pacific, the US Navy and Marine Corps made effective use of the F4U Corsair fighters in tactical air support missions for Marines and Army units fighting in Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and other Japanese-infested islands.

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