President Donald Trump is expected to issue a presidential directive ordering Defense Secretary James Mattis to present new plans to hit the Islamic State harder, much harder, The New York Times reported.
The strategies could include more American artillery in Syria and Army attack helicopters to pound Raqqa, the Syrian city that ISIS has declared as its capital, according to the report.
Trump will reportedly give Mattis 30 days to present him with new military options on battling ISIS. The president was scheduled to visit the Pentagon for the first time on Friday.
Mattis, a retired Marine general with more than four decades of service and plenty of combat experience, bombed the Islamic State 31 times on his first full day on the job. Judging by his reputation, Mattis will welcome Trump’s directive.
The New York Times also reported that Trump may soon assess the nation’s nuclear posture:
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly said that he had a secret plan to defeat the Islamic State, but he also said that he would give his commanders a month to come up with new options.
The White House is also expected to press for a review of the United States nuclear posture — one that retains all three legs of the nuclear arsenal with weapons aboard bombers and submarines and in underground missile silos — as well as a review of how to achieve the president’s goal of fielding a “state of the art” antimissile system.
The directive to identify new ways to hasten the demise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, has been widely anticipated by military commanders, who have begun drafting classified options to increase the pressure on the militant group, especially in Raqqa and Mosul, the stronghold in Iraq.
Trump has made some huge promises about defeating ISIS both on the campaign trail and in his inauguration speech.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones - and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth,” Trump said in his inauguration address.