WASHINGTON — Recognizing the need for a new strategy to fight ISIS, the Pentagon announced today that it would no longer supply the Iraqi Army with American vehicles, artillery and rifles, and instead would supply materiel directly to ISIS.
CENTCOM spokesman Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder says the idea "would be a game changer."
The plan has its roots in Army Capt. Noel Abelove’s PowerPoint briefing, which was hailed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sources said. Abelove, a supply officer on the Joint Logistics Staff (J-4), realized that cutting out the Iraqi Army middlemen had numerous advantages.
“They taught me at West Point that 'amateurs talk strategy but professionals talk logistics,'” Abelove told reporters. “The most important advantage is, we only supply about 40 percent of each ISIS requisition.”
Abelove continued: “Before, when we gave the [Iraqi] Army 100 percent, then we had to fly strike missions to destroy a lot of it a week or two later. This way we immediately degrade ISIS by over 60 percent, without having to use our increasingly scarce missiles and JDAMs, and more importantly, without having to put any airmen into harm’s way.”
Other sources indicate that supplying ISIS also reduces the risk of sensitive equipment being passed to Iran by Shiite commanders in the Iraqi Army, or being sold on Craigslist.
“A lot of these guys were piling a lot of cash into banks in Qatar and the Caymans,” according to an analyst who requested anonymity. “Well, screw that. ISIS will literally burn anyone selling our gear.”
According to Ryder, an additional benefit will be improving military-to-military relations between the United States and the Islamic State.
"We have to meet them to deliver the stuff, and we have invited some of their top commanders as observers at CENTCOM," he said. "Watching video of the Abu Sayyaf raid is a real 'Come to Jesus!' moment for them."
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), which recently joined 5th Fleet’s battle group in the Persian Gulf, will reportedly take a few weeks off in Bahrain.
According to Pentagon sources, this isn’t the end of the new approach.
“We’re going to offer them a slot on the F-35 development team,” a civilian logistician who reports directly to the Defense Secretary who requested anonymity said. “We bankrupted the Soviets, and this might just bankrupt the Islamic State.
"Hard cash is the new soft power," he concluded.