[pjw] NEWS/ACTION: Pentagon to present Trump with plan to crush Islamic State (USA Today 2/26)
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Mon Feb 27 17:56:22 EST 2017
Along with today's news that President Trump wants to increase the
military budget by $54 billion
so America can "win wars again," the below article indicates he wants to
step up bombing, and "give generals more leeway" to use ground troops in
Iraq and Syria.
This is a good time to remind you to download and print out our "No Boots
on the Ground- No Bombs in the Air" flyer:
to be sure you're telling your representatives that we don't need to up a
military budget that already is greater than combining the budgets of
the next 7 biggest spenders, and to remind you to come out on March 17 for
the PPRC Friday Rally "The Quagmire Continues: 14 Years in Iraq"
<http://www.pjw.info/iraq14yl.html>. The site and flyer are now updated
with a current list of cosponsors and endorsers. (And the IAG is still
collecting donations to support the event!)
On Friday we had about a dozen people marking PPRC's 800th consecutive
Friday Rally. Let's hope we get to the point where we don't have to keep
marching for peace.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
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Pentagon to present Trump with plan to crush Islamic State
Jim Michaels , USA TODAY Published 5:51 p.m. ET Feb. 26, 2017 |
The Pentagon this week will present the White House with options for
accelerating the war against the Islamic State, the first step
toward President Trump's campaign pledge to change the current strategy
and crush the global terror group.
Instead of a major overhaul, military leaders will likely recommend
adjustments that could expand bombings and quicken the pace of ground
operations, several analysts said.
The Pentagon will likely stick with its current policy of backing local
forces to lead the fight against the militants in Iraq and Syria. Trump
has voiced skepticism about sending conventional American troops to the
"That doesn't change," said Michael Rubin, an analyst at the American
The new proposal will probably amount to a "supersizing" of the Obama
administration's strategy to defeat the Islamic State, said Jennifer
Cafarella, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
Pentagon officials have declined to discuss details of the plan before
it is presented to the White House. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said only that it will include
"options" for the president to consider.
Last month, Trump gave the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis 30
days to come up with a plan to defeat the Islamic State. On the
campaign trail he repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for
its inability to stop the militant group.
The Pentagon might recommend a number of strategy adjustments that
would intensify the battle against the Islamic State, also known as
ISIS or ISIL. For example, the Pentagon could make the current rules of
engagement less restrictive and perhaps find ways to boost support for
local ground forces in Iraq and Syria, according to the analysts.
Approval for some airstrikes can take weeks under the current process.
And the Obama administration's rules on limiting civilian casualties
went beyond what is required by international law, Cafarella said.
Trump "is not going to worry quite as much as about collateral damage,"
The Pentagon could also recommend placing U.S. advisers closer to
combat in Iraq and Syria. Advisers now are ordered to avoid exposing
themselves to combat and are generally limited to headquarters away
from the fighting.
Former president Barack Obama strictly limited the number of troops
deployed to Iraq and Syria and placed much of the authority for
military decisions within the White House. Rubin said Trump will likely
allow generals greater leeway in running the operations.
The United States might also consider directly supporting Kurdish
forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, Rubin said. The Kurds have
been effective fighters against the Islamic State, but the United
States has not provided them directly with ammunition and supplies
because of Turkish opposition. Turkey's government fears the Kurds in
Syria are linked to groups inside Turkey that have been fighting for
The Pentagon plan was developed in coordination with the Treasury and
State departments, plus other agencies. The options will also
address the Islamic State's influence beyond Iraq and Syria and has
expanded to North Africa, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The United States has deployed about 500 troops to Syria, advising Arab
and Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State. In Iraq, about 5,000
U.S. troops advise, train and support Iraqi armed forces.
The Pentagon said its plan to the White House will be a broad,
strategic overview and will not include recommendations for troop
The new Pentagon proposal will be presented to the White House as the
current strategy has shown some success in taking back territory held
by the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq.
Iraq's U.S.-backed forces are in the final stages of a fight to drive
the militants from Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Iraqi forces
recently captured the international airport and on Sunday cleared some
neighborhoods on the western side of the city. Last month, the city's
east side was declared liberated by Iraq's government.
Coalition-backed forces in Syria are simultaneously closing in on
Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital.
Some analysts want Trump to adapt a broad overhaul of strategy that
would address the political conditions in the region that have led to
the rise of the Islamic State and the tensions between Sunnis and
"The question is how to create the political conditions and governing
conditions that will keep these (terror) organizations defeated,"
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