The White House Just Revealed Massive Mission Creep in Syria. Here’s Why. By Kyle Rempfer and Todd South - Military Times
The Islamic State is on the brink of total military defeat ― but don’t expect U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria to be coming home anytime soon.
The Islamic State’s caliphate has collapsed. They have almost no territory remaining except for a small piece of eastern Syria and the militants appear to have very little combat power left.
At the same time, ISIS is losing its international influence as terrorist attacks in the West are declining. And the latest intelligence reports suggest the group has very little ― if any ― operational control over its affiliate groups in other countries in Africa and beyond.
Yet top U.S. officials at the Pentagon and the White House are avoiding anything that sounds like a declaration of victory.
Many experts believe that’s because U.S. leaders want to maintain public support for other ground-level missions in the region that are harder to sell to the American people, politically.
But so far, no one has stood at the Pentagon podium and directly said that balancing regional threats like Iran and “Shia influence” is part of the current policy or strategy…