Obama's rules of engagement against ISIS caused greater civilian casualties
ISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it once held -- with half of that terror group's so-called "caliphate" having been recaptured since President Trump took office less than a year ago, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.It is likely that the ISIS caliphate would never have existed had not Obama retreated from Iraq when he did. He then compounded teh problem by micromanaging the war with amateurs in teh White House approving air strikes. It took 15 months to get approval to attack the oil fields that were financing ISIS operations. That is just malpractice on a grand scale that allowed genocidal attacks on Christians and other minority groups by the Islamic religious bigots of ISIS. Obama's management of the war is indefensible.
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 are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds 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 casualties.”
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, 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.