General Mattis Changes ISIS Strategy to “Annihilate the Enemy”

By Saagar Enjeti, 6-16-17, at the Daily Caller:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis instructed the U.S. military to abandon Obama administration procedures and start focusing on killing Islamic State fighters instead, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told Breaking Defense.

“When Secretary Mattis looked at our anti-ISIS campaign, he concluded that in some instances we were essentially just pushing the enemy from one location to another,” Dunford explained. “He asked me and the military chain-of-command to make a conscious effort not to allow ISIS fighters to just flee from one location to another, but rather to deliberately seek to ‘annihilate’ the enemy,” he continued.

The Pentagon has yet to reveal a new strategy to defeat ISIS but Mattis has heavily emphasized his focus on “annihilation” in recent months.

“We have already shifted from attrition tactics where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria, to annihilation tactics where we surround them. Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so. We’re going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate,” Mattis declared in a late May interview with CBS News.

Dunford however lamented that ISIS is increasingly embedding themselves within civilian populations to guard against U.S. airstrikes.

“One tactic they have adopted is to mix in with the civilian population, and that makes targeting them very difficult. We can’t just indiscriminately bomb people who are leaving these cities. Even with this annihilation battle plan, we have to be very careful about civilian casualties,” he said.


What took him so long?? That should have been Order One on his first day. While that’s good for the people to know, advertising it might not have been a smart move. Instead, it might have been better had he not told us and just do it.

With ISIS hiding in the civilian population, there’s going to be collateral damage and no way to avoid it. But remember, if those thugs get the notion, they’ll kill them before we have to worry about it.


Categories: Political

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8 replies

  1. The only way to annihilate ISIS among these populations is through good intelligence, and that’s going to require the brave assistance of the population if they want to minimize mass civilian casualties. I sympathize with the people of these countries where ISIS is trying to take control, but really this should be their fight, and if they took it on themselves the casualties would be enormous as they are in any civil war.


    • Right CW, getting rid of ISIS should be their fight and this is cold, but better their casualties than ours. If they want to be free, then they have to be willing to fight for it.


  2. General Patton said, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” I believe that General Mattis understands this and will direct our military to make the “other bastards die” for their beliefs. It’s about time.


  3. I think Mattis has had the problem of Obama military leaders in the branches of service who are worried about harming Muslims more than winning over ISIS. Bet it takes a long time to route them.

    We were on the win in Afghanistan at one time with W as president. Now with O’s regressive tactics we are losing.

    I trust Mattis to get the job done.


    • O got rid of the leaders who didn’t play the way he wanted, and that left a bunch of yes men. I trust Mattis will change that attitude and be far more aggressive in our military tactics.


  4. If we’re going to prosecute these wars in the Middle East, the very first thing we have to do is reject the COIN doctrine that’s the basis of our current military strategy. Not only does it not work — as can be clearly seen in Iraq and Afghanistan — but it’s completely antithetical to the reality of what needs to be done to actually WIN wars. All we end up doing is hobbling our own troops, subjecting them to needless risks and dangers in an unrealistic expectation that it will “win” the support of the indigenous populace.

    Particularly in the Middle East, that expectation is based on an uninformed and fantastical lack of understanding of the cultural and societal foundations of those countries. It’s absurdly naïve.


    • You can’t win wars while simultaneously building schools, hospitals, etc. That’s not what soldiers do best, but it seems nation building became a higher priority than kicking butt. I say get in there, wipe out ISIS, collateral damage be damned, and come home. Let the rest of the tribes continue fighting amongst themselves like they’ve been doing forever.

      Liked by 1 person

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