Small Wars Journal

Mattis: New Game Plan on ISIS?

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 4:49pm

Mattis: New Game Plan on ISIS? By Jeanette Steele, San Diego Union-Tribune

Remember candidate Donald Trump’s promise to, in his first 30 days, get a new plan out of America’s generals to beat the Islamic State?

It appears that new Defense Secretary James Mattis is preparing to start as early as Friday, when Trump is scheduled to visit the Pentagon.

Some options that could be quickly forwarded: two ideas that former President Barack Obama’s administration developed but never approved, according to CNN.

They include arming Kurdish fighters for the battle to retake Raqqa, the ISIS capital in Syria. Obama didn’t like that idea due to concerns it would alienate Turkey, where the United States needs airbase access.

Another option: sending more U.S. troops into Syria for combat against ISIS fighters. Under Obama, American service members are technically in an adviser role in Iraq and Syria.

New leadership at the Pentagon comes just as Iraq announced this week a somewhat tenuous victory in eastern Mosul, in what’s been a bloody, months-long onslaught to eliminate ISIS in its Iraqi stronghold…

Read on.