Subject: Trump steps up and smashes the ISIS Caliphate
"Since Trump took office, ISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it once held."
Lucas Tomlinson reports from the Pentagon
The massive gains come after years of "onerous" rules, when critics say the Obama administration
“micromanaged” the war and shunned a more intensive air strategy that could have ended the
conflict much sooner.
“The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what were we doing
having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases added
weeks and weeks,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force
intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian
The latest American intelligence assessment says fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters now remain in Iraq
and Syria, down from a peak of nearly 45,000 just two years ago. U.S. officials credit nearly 30,000
U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and regional partners on the ground for killing more than 70,000
jihadists. Meanwhile, only a few thousand have returned home.
The remaining ISIS strongholds are concentrated in a small area along the border of Syria and Iraq.
ISIS, at one point, when Obama was in office, controlled an area the size of Ohio.
While ISIS has been largely defeated, it continues to call on followers around the world to conduct
terror attacks during the holidays with a new message sprouting up on Tuesday, and a suicide attack
in Kabul on Christmas with ISIS claiming responsibility. It’s part of the terror group’s effort
to expand influence into Africa and Afghanistan. The U.S. envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition warned
late last week not to expect a complete defeat anytime soon.
“ISIS became a brand, and a lot of pre-existing terrorist groups — you’ve seen this in the
Sinai, for example — start to raise the flag of ISIS, mainly to recruit foreign fighters and other
things,” said Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS at
the U.S. Department of State, in a press briefing Thursday with reporters at the State Department.
Deptula thinks the ISIS fight would have ended much sooner if then-President Obama had given his
military commander in the field more authority. He compared President Obama’s actions to President
Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War.
“Obama micromanaged the war,” Deptula said. “We could have accomplished our objectives through
the use of overwhelming air power in three months not in three years.”
Deptula said ISIS-controlled oil supplies weren’t targeted for 15 months beginning in 2014, giving
the terror group $800 million in much needed revenue to plot attacks and enslave millions of
"ISIS is just a JV team." - Barack Obama