Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Associated Foreign Press last Friday that President Trump has authorized the Pentagon to pursue a new strategy in the fight against the Islamic State. Working off an executive order that Trump signed shortly after taking office, the nation’s top military generals have come up with a battle plan that’s much different from the one pursued by the Obama administration.
Trump, said Mattis, has “directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS.”
In other words, instead of allowing ISIS fighters to escape a city so the military can bomb as many as possible on their way out of dodge, the U.S.-led coalition is trapping them like rats before sending them – en masse – to their eternal reward.
The goal, said Mattis, is not just to kill as many ISIS terrorists as possible, but also to shore up a major weakness of the Obama-era strategy. That weakness was allowing many terrorists to escape, return home to their European/Western neighborhoods, and carry out devastating attacks on civilian populations. In other words, it was actually worsening the very problem we were supposedly trying to solve. The whole POINT of going after ISIS is to stop these domestic terror attacks, right? It isn’t to stop the Islamic State from taking over for Assad! That’s Syrian business. Going after their strongholds is simply what we’ve been forced to do because they can’t keep their nasty Islamist crap confined to their own desert hellholes.
Through his oft-reported micro-management, President Obama kept U.S. forces handcuffed. Maybe he didn’t want to get bogged down in another Iraq-esque war. Maybe he thought we could destroy ISIS without getting our hands dirty. Maybe he simply didn’t care, content to pass the problem on to the next administration while spending the rest of his tenure making excuses for Islam. Whatever the case, he kept ISIS alive and thriving while our generals fumed at the Pentagon.
Those days are over. Trump promised the American people that he would destroy ISIS, and he has given the military the tools and the authority they need to turn that promise into a reality. That’s the difference between someone who actually cares about national security and someone who just wants to impress our European allies with his “we’re all the same” liberal philosophy.