President Obama has given U.S. military pilots an impossible task: Wage a successful air war against an enemy hiding among civilians – without killing a single civilian.

Pilots who have returned from deployments say Obama refuses to permit airstrikes 75 percent of the time against the Islamic State group.

“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”

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Obama has resisted sending in U.S. ground troops to battle ISIS, which has allowed the Sunni terror group to better defend against coalition airstrikes.

Jack Keane, a retired four-star U.S. general, said Obama demanded Air Force officials vet targets based on goal of zero civilian casualties.

“This has been an absurdity from the beginning,” Keane said Wednesday, the Free Beacon reported. The president personally made a statement that has driven air power from the inception. “When we agreed we were going to do air power and the military said, this is how it would work, he [Obama] said, ‘No, I do not want any civilian casualties.’ And the response was, ‘But there’s always some civilian casualties. We have the best capability in the world to protect from civilians casualties.'”

Obama’s reply was, “No, you don’t understand. I want no civilian casualties. Zero,” Keane told the website. “So that has driven our so-called rules of engagement to a degree we have never had in any previous air campaign from desert storm to the present.”

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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh blasted Obama’s plan as a delusional recipe for disaster.

“The bottom line is there’s no way we’re gonna win this. We’re being led by somebody who may not even be serious about winning,” Limbaugh said Friday.


A Pentagon official speaking on condition of anonymity defended Obama’s orders.

“The bottom line is that we will not stoop to the level of our enemy and put civilians more in harm’s way than absolutely necessary,” the official told the Free Beacon. “The fact that aircraft go on missions and don’t strike anything is not out of the norm. Despite U.S. strikes being the most precise in the history of warfare, conducting strike operations in the heavily populated areas where ISIL hides certainly presents challenges. We are fighting an enemy who goes out of their way to put civilians at risk.”

Keane said France and Russia are prosecuting the war not to have a zero-casualty count, but to win.

“Believe me, the French are in there not using the restrictions we have imposed on our pilots,” Keane said. “And the Russians] don’t care at all about civilians.”

Records provided to the website by the Defense Department show more than 22,000 munitions were dropped on ISIS targets during more than 8,000 sorties since the beginning of the year.

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