Small Wars Journal

Trump to Add Some Muscle to U.S. Strategy to Fight Islamic State

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 9:00pm

Trump to Add Some Muscle to U.S. Strategy to Fight Islamic State by Gordon Lubold, Dion Nissenbaum and Julian Barnes, Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump’s new strategy to accelerate the fight against Islamic State will, at least initially, tweak and add a little more muscle to the existing plan, U.S. officials said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to provide to Mr. Trump a series of recommendations for that plan in the coming days. Mr. Trump on Jan. 28 signed an order directing his new Pentagon chief to come up with a preliminary draft of the plan to fight Islamic State within 30 days.

The president will consider a range of options that are expected to include sending additional troops to Syria and Iraq, at least in limited numbers, according to U.S. officials.

Two other possible steps could involve loosening battlefield restrictions, the officials said. One such step would give commanders more decision-making power on the use of U.S. forces in the field. A second would ease rules designed to minimize civilian casualties, according to U.S. officials. Loosening the civilian casualty rules would have the effect of increasing the number and rate of operations against Islamic State, officials said…

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