General Mattis has ordered Americas' top military Generals to ditch Obama's failed ISIS strategy, instead tasking our military to begin actually killing members of the so-called Islamic State.
In an interview with Breaking Defense, Gen. Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signaled that General Mattis is abandoning the Obama strategy of just “pushing” ISIS around, ordering his commanders to instead “annihilate” the enemy.
Dunford was asked “Is the United States’ “annihilation” battle plan in Iraq and Syria that you’ve spoken of also designed to contain the foreign fighter threat?” He responded (emphasis added):
Yes. When Secretary Mattis looked at our anti-ISIS campaign, he concluded that in some instances we were essentially just pushing the enemy from one location to another. He asked me and the military chain-of-command to make a conscious effort not to allow ISIS fighters to just flee from one location to another, but rather to deliberately seek to ‘annihilate’ the enemy. That was the commander’s intent, and our commanders on the ground have tried to meet that goal of annihilating the enemy in order to mitigate the risk of these terrorists showing up someplace else.
This is the first recognition from the Mattis chain of command that ISIS strategy is changing, starting at the top. Mattis has doubled down on his “annihilation” strategy, and proudly touted the new direction of actually killing ISIS in a recent interview:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is crediting changes in tactics ordered by President Trump for increasing the pressure on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and leaving the beleaguered fighters with no avenue of escape.
“He 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,” Mattis said Friday during a Pentagon briefing on the counter-ISIS campaign.
The marked change jives with recent reporting:
Since ISIS came into power, it has murdered thousands of people and displaced tens of thousands. In a show of its operational capability, the jihadists have carried out attacks in France, Belgium, and Turkey.
But ISIS is losing control and territory each day. They are on the verge of losing Raqqa and Mosul — both cities that were strongholds for them. And Mattis and Trump aren't going to let the jihadists find another safe haven, either. In the briefing on ISIS Friday, Mattis made that impeccably clear.
President Donald Trump hasn't been shy about his feelings towards ISIS and militant Islamist groups.
On the campaign trail, he said he “would bomb the sh*t out of” ISIS. Then he made good on his promise after the MOAB was dropped in the Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan.
According to Dunford, the General who carries his own bags is also carrying Trumps' ISIS strategy off to a tee. The Pentagon is due to announce a detailed ISIS strategy in the coming weeks.