On the campaign trail, President Trump promised to “annihilate ISIS.” To wipe them out.
Under his predecesser (I refuse to say his name), they only greew stronger and stronger each year.
It always baffled me how the USA, with the largest military complex in the world (by far) had such a hard time fighting a rag-tag group of terrorists roaming in the desert.
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It turns out it was because we weren’t even trying.
All President Trump had to do was appoint a patriot like General James “Maddog” Mattis and give him free reign to unleash the full fury of the United States Armed Forces and sure enough we have nearly wiped ISIS out.
Now that makes a whole lot more sense to me!
If you ask me, this is Exhibit “A” on why Barack Obama (ok I said his name) should be brought up on treason charges. I believe he not only was refusing to fight the enemy, I believe he was arming them.
Here is a new report, just out from Fox News, with more info:
Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through the desert in long convoys, presenting an easy target to U.S. A-10 “warthogs.”
But the orders to bomb the black-clad jihadists never came, and the terrorists melted into their caliphate — living to fight another day. The events came in August 2016, even as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was vowing on the campaign trail to let generals in his administration crush the organization that, under President Obama, had grown from the “jayvee team” to the world’s most feared terrorist organization.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft said the Trump administration has put a strong leadership team in place (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern)
“I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS,” Trump, who would name legendary Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, promised. “We will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism.”
Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.
“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”
– U.S. Marine Col. Seth Folsom
At its peak, ISIS held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency.
Lt. Col. Seth Folsom credits the cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S-led coalition for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq. (Courtesy U.S Army)
The terror organization now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and less than 5 percent of Syria. Its self-styled “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be injured and holed up somewhere along the lawless border of Syria and Iraq.
ISIS remains a danger, as members who once ruled cities and villages like a quasi-government now live secretly among civilian populations in the region, in Europe and possibly in the U.S. These cells will likely present a terrorist threat for years. In addition, the terrorist organization is attempting to regroup in places such as the Philippines, Libya and the Sinai Peninsula.
But the military’s job — to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year.
Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch (Associated Press)
“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”
President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.
“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”
U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge said the military now has a clear mandate (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cole Erickson)
After the battle to liberate Mosul – ISIS’ Iraqi headquarters – was completed in July — the U.S.-led coalition retook Tel Afar in August, Hawija in early October and Rawa in Anbar province in November.
Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, agreed. He wasn’t expecting his part of the campaign against ISIS to get going until next spring and figured even then, it would then “take six months or more.”
Instead, ISIS was routed in Al Qaim in just a few days.
Mosul, and several other cities liberated by ISIS, were largely destroyed in the fighting. (Fox News/Hollie McKay)
“We really had one mandate and that was enable the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat ISIS militarily here in Anbar. I feel that we have achieved that mission,” Folsom said. “I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”
Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, told Fox News his commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.”
Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool was skeptical of Trump at first, but says success on the ground has been swift (Fox News/Hollie McKay )
“We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here,” he said.