OIR Goes Multi-Domain

The US has begun to use “our exquisite cyber capabilities” in the fight against ISIS, the campaign’s deputy commander for operations and intelligence told reporters Tuesday. Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten said cyber operations “are cloaked in the highest of secrecy,” but are “highly coordinated and it has been very effective, and Daesh will be, definitely, in the crosshairs as we bring that capability to bear against them.” Gersten, who has been in theater about a year, said that when he first arrived, there were roughly 1,500 to 2,000 foreign fighters streaming into Iraq and Syria each month, but that number has now dwindled to around 200 per month—plus there has been an increase in desertion rates among ISIS fighters. “In every single way, their capability to wage war is broken,” he said of the terror group. Gersten also mentioned the recent arrival of B-52s to the fight, and noted that while his father flew B-52s in the late 1960s and early 1970s, “this is not my father’s B-52. It’s a highly upgraded B-52, extraordinary platform, that strikes with the same accuracy and precision that every other coalition aircraft has struck in the recent past.”