According to the NBC News TV-channel, the secret plan of US President Donald Trump on fighting the Islamic State terrorist group is very similar to the Barack Obama’s plan.
The secret plan of US President Donald Trump to fight against terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group is very similar to the plan of the former US leader Barack Obama, the NBC News TV-channel reported on Friday, citing two high-ranking officials, familiar with the document. Apparently, the NBC News’ experts just forgot several details of the Obama’s program.
In their view, “it turns out to be a little more than an ‘intensification’ of the same slow and steady approach that Trump derided under the Obama administration.”
“The plan calls for continued bombing; beefing up support and assistance to local forces to retake its Iraqi stronghold Mosul and ultimately the ISIS [Islamic State] capital of Raqqa in Syria; drying up ISIS’s sources of income; and stabilizing the areas retaken from ISIS,” the officials said.
Two famous experts on military strategy consider the plan “insufficient” and fear that the document “won’t fulfill Trump’s pledges to ‘totally obliterate ISIS’ and do it quickly.”
In his turn, spokesman for the Pentagon Capt. Jeff Davis said that the preliminary plan is “a grand strategy – which places even more emphasis on diplomacy, economics and information than it does on the military.” He also stressed that the document is based on “the whole-of-government, better synchronizing public diplomacy, cyber, information, financial, as well as military instruments of power, and it enhances our coordination across regions.”
A source in the US Defense Department noted that the plan “eliminates much of the cumbersome decision-making process previously in place. This streamlining, the official said, will allow decisions to be made more rapidly and with greater flexibility.”
According to official data of the US government, some 500 American servicemen are deployed on the ground in Syria, while there are 5,200 US soldiers in Iraq. However, according to a senior representative of the US Armed Forces, “the actual numbers are at least double that.”
Earlier, US President Donald Trump instructed the Pentagon to prepare a plan for destruction of the IS in Syria and Iraq, the draft document has already been handed over to the president. As the Washington Post newspaper reported on March 6, officials, who participated in the plan’s preparation, proposed to remove restrictions on the number of US military contingent in Syria, where there are 500 American servicemen now.
On March 9, spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Forces of Operation Inherent Resolve, Colonel John Dorrian, said that the US sent 400 additional troops to Syria. On March 15, the Washington Post reported, citing an official from the US Defense Department, that the Pentagon is going to send at least 1,000 other troops to Syria ahead of the offensive on Raqqa city.
Obviously, NBC News’ sources forgot at least two main differences between the Trump’s and Obama’s plans to fight terrorists in the Middle East.
Firstly, the Obama’s administration actively supported armed Syrian opposition, affiliated to the al-Nusra Front, also known as al-Qaeda. In January, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for former US President Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, openly declared this fact in an interview with the Politico magazine, adding that only the fact that the al-Nusra Front (now known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) might use “weapons that we gave them against us” prevented Obama from supporting the group.
At the same time, Trump actively confronts Al-Qaeda. The last operations of the US forces, aimed against the group, are the best examples of his intentions.
In addition, Obama repeatedly claimed that there were “no boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq, while it obviously was not true, as the US Special Forces operated in the countries. Trump does not hide the fact of the US forces’ presence and openly talks about his intention to increase of their number.