President Donald Trump is determined to remove the threat ISIS pose, so he has given authority to Secretary of Defense James Mattis to decide troop levels in the fight against the Islamic State.
Mattis will now coordinate mission needs and set U.S. troop levels in Iraq and Syria. The decision to no longer be reviled how many troops are headed to the ISIS fight was made last month by Pentagon.
“It’s about capabilities not numbers,” stated Centom spokesman Army Col. John Thomas.
“Restoring FML decisions to the Secretary of Defense enables military commanders to be more agile, adaptive and efficient in supporting our partners, and enables decisions that benefit unit readiness, cohesion and lethality,” said Pentagon spokesperson Dana White.
She added that Mattis did not change the number of troops in the region.
This change represents a huge departure from Obama administration’s drowdown strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan to restrict levels in several U.S. military areas of operations and frequently highlighted troop numbers.
“The military campaign is focused on breaking ISIS, defeating ISIS in Syria,” Mattis told reporters in his first Pentagon news conference as President Donald Trump’s defense chief.
At this moment there are roughly 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in the fight against ISIS, reports DonaldTrumpNews. There are also and hundreds of special U.S operators embedded with local forces in Syria, and nearly 400 U.S. Marines providing artillery support.
This decision is part of the wider tactics of Trump administration to delegate authorities to the Pentagon while focusing on broader strategic issues. The approach is already known in the ground war against Islamic terrorists.
“There is a sense among these commanders that they are able to do a bit more — and so they are,” a senior U.S military official said.
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