"GO BIG OR GO HOME"
Sooner or later there comes a time in a man's life when he is threatened. It may be physical, economic, mental, or even political...but when that time comes he has to do one of two things, and it's been referred to as "fight or flight". There is much to be said for running away and living to fight another day, but that doesn't always work. If you stay and choose to defend yourself, it could get bloody, it might even end with you being killed. Perhaps you stayed to fight to give others a chance to get away from whatever the trouble is, and that's very noble, and I think that's what a man is supposed to do. My thinking is probably out of date since I'm an old man, but that's how it used to be.
You're putting up a delaying action in that case, so that others can flee to safety. Americans have come to the aid of beleaguered peoples in many instances and in many countries. Now consider what you would do if you command troops, and you're faced with the choice of fight or flight. If the situation is even somewhat winnable and the troops are agreed to that, you stand and fight. Which leads me to ask about how we could defeat two of the world's mightiest armies in WW2, and cannot defeat about 10,000 semi-trained troops. I say go big or go home and, in this case, going big means sending several sorties of A-10 Warthog aircraft in to strafe the troops. This is not just a great aircraft for that, but it will take on tanks, armored personnel carriers, and whatever else is on the field.
Go in fast, in heavily-armored aircraft, with the AN/GAU-8a 30mm Avenger seven-barrel gatling gun, mounted only on the A-10 attack jet. It is a 30mm, 7 barrel Gatling gun used primarily in the air to ground role as a soft target killer and tank buster. It can fire up to 3900 rounds per minute and will chew up a tank making it look like swiss cheese. The Navy had an aircraft, the AD Skyraider which was a single-engine plane, and this one plane could carry more payload than a WW2 Flying Fortress. They were also heavily armored and between the two, they were quite effective in decimating troop formations, and even hidden emplacements.
I do not want to see another member of our armed forces killed or maimed fighting for someone else. Mercenaries do that, and they are well-paid. Our troops do it because they love our country, and they are not paid nearly enough for what they do, and what they suffer. Don't even get me started on the healthcare system for veterans, that's a whole other story...maybe a book. Carpet-bombing works, and that's what I would call going big. We supplied food, water and medical supplies to the city of Berlin when the Russians surrounded it right after the war...and if we can do that, we can drop supplies to the Kurds and the Yezidis. Here is a good place to remind you that my opinion is that we, the western world, are at war with ISIS, Al Quaida, Boko Haram and all the rest of the enemies of civilization...and war, by it's nature means people get killed.
When you fight an enemy that puts more value on death instead of life, it's difficult, if not impossible to deal with them on a rational basis. Try dealing with a rabid dog, and you get an idea of the problem. So go big, and as one former Air Force general once said "bomb 'em back to the stone age", or tuck your tail between your legs, slink away and try to ignore the problem, and go home…but rest assured the problem will seek you out.
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired www.AirHumanityRadio.net