Trump Gives Mattis Full Latitude to Destroy ISIS, Won’t Micromanage Military Like Obama Did

Under the new policy, Secretary Mattis now is able to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria to match the mission needs. This new authority comes after the Pentagon decided in late March to no longer announce how many troops are dedicated to fight ISIS.

Pentagon and Central Command spokesmen have applauded the change.

Restoring FML [force management level] 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.”

At present, the United States has about 5,000 troops in Iraq advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces in the battle against ISIS. Hundreds of special force operators are embedded with local forces, with approximately 400 U.S. Marines providing artillery support.  Pentagon spokesmen say there have been no changes in troop levels.

President Trump initiated the troop level policy change as part of his broader push to delegate tactical authority to the Pentagon while focusing on broader strategic issues.

The increasingly lax oversight is already being felt 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.’ “

The Trump decision exemplifies his management style, very much in the mold of a business chief executive officer (CEO) who recruits top executives to carry out strategic initiatives and policy implementation.

Some media sources are speculating that Trump will grant Mattis more authority to launch anti-terrorist raids without seeking White House approval, provided it meets strategic policy objectives.

As commander-in-chief, Trump remains the final decision-maker over operations, but he could delegate authority to Mattis and his Pentagon team to take action in fast-moving situations, such as drone strikes, counterterrorism raids, and hostage situations.

Upon taking office, President Trump charged Secretary Mattis and the Pentagon with developing a range of options to take the fight to ISIS. That review was provided to the president in March.

Source: The Daily Caller

Image: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


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