HEAR I.S. PLAN

New Straits Times - - World -

Peace, us­ing IS’s Ara­bic acro­nym.

“We shouldn’t lose fo­cus. We shouldn’t give Daesh a sec­ond chance.”

Shortly af­ter tak­ing of­fice in late Jan­uary, Trump gave the Pen­tagon 30 days to re­view progress in the anti-IS fight and de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive plan to “to­tally oblit­er­ate” the group.

As a can­di­date, Trump fre­quently be­moaned how long then pres­i­dent Barack Obama was tak­ing to get the job done — and claimed to have a se­cret plan to fin­ish IS.

He never of­fered de­tails and so far has largely stuck with Obama’s strat­egy, which cen­tres on US-led or guided forces car­ry­ing out con­tin­ual sur­veil­lance and strikes on ji­hadist tar­gets, while train­ing and equip­ping lo­cal forces to con­duct ground com­bat and hold seized ter­rain.

Trump has made some notable tweaks, in­clud­ing grant­ing com­man­ders broader author­ity to make bat­tle­field de­ci­sions.

Mil­i­tary of­fi­cers had com­plained of mi­cro­man­age­ment un­der Obama, but crit­ics worry the mil­i­tary may now lean to­wards ac­tions with a greater like­li­hood of civil­ian deaths, such as a botched Jan­uary raid in Ye­men that killed a Navy SEAL, women and chil­dren.

The Pen­tagon is in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that a strike it launched on a sus­pected al-Qaeda tar­get near a mosque in north­ern Syria killed dozens of civil­ians.

Last month, the Pen­tagon gave Trump an ini­tial draft of its re­vised anti-IS plan.

Pen­tagon spokesman Jeff Davis said the doc­u­ment would “in­form” yes­ter­day’s diplo­matic dis­cus­sions, and feed­back from coali­tion part­ners would be in­te­grated. AFP

PIC AFP

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sign­ing into law a bill to au­tho­rises fund­ing for Nasa in the Oval Of­fice at the White House in Wash­ing­ton on Tues­day.

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