The president has declared the fight against ISIS to be a top priority. But within some corners of the U.S. military, there are growing concerns that the fight isn’t getting the resources it needs. Specifically, senior military officials tell The Daily Beast, there’s a “shortage” of drones and other surveillance planes needed to keep tabs on ISIS militants in Iraq and in Syria.
By now, he coalition’s difficulties in monitoring ISIS have been well documented. ISIS forces are operating in smaller groups and inside the civilian population to avoid being spotted from the sky. And the militant group’s leaders are using encryption or human couriers to send messages. Just last week, key members of the U.S. government met to discuss how hard it’s been to track the militant group.
Until now, most of the internal criticisms about the American-led intelligence effort have largely centered around the lack of U.S. spies on the ground. These American military officials are making a different point: There simply aren’t enough American surveillance flights over the ISIS battlefield. The reason, they add, is because the war in Afghanistan continues to receive preferential treatment, even though it is winding down. […]