Monday, November 16, 2015

Targeting oil

Recently the U.S. and its allies seem to be targeting ISIS's oil infrastructure much more than before. I don't know if that is a shift in response to the Paris attacks, or if the change was in the works as part of the Obama administration's strategy shift that was already in the works before last Friday.

Oil is the insurgent group's primary source of funding. So hitting its ability to produce and ship oil is going to hurt the Islamic State. On the other hand, the shift means killing a lot more civilians (they are the ones who work in the oil industry). If oil trucks and sites are targeted, the U.S. can't claim that those civilian deaths were just unfortunate "collateral damage" to some attempt to hit a legitimate military target.

Not that anyone will care. Civilians in ISIS controlled areas don't get any sympathy on this end of the world. I'm sure if asked political leaders will come up with some idea about how oil production is, in fact, a military target because militants drive trucks and trucks need oil to run. By that logic, you might as well target water treatment plants, food production, sewage treatment, electricity, garment makers, etc, because ISIS militants drink water, eat food, take shits, use electricity, wear clothes, etc. Once you go down that slippery slope there are no civilian areas anymore. Then again, no one will ask political leaders those kinds of questions.