The plan of an assault of Raqqah, the ISIS self-proclaimed capital in Syria, prepared by the Obama administration has included “huge gaps” and the Trump administration is going to revise it instead of implementing it.
The Washington Post reports:
So on Jan. 17, just three days before the transfer of power, Obama directed his national security adviser to hand over to the Trump team a paper detailing the plan to arm the Kurds, including talking points that President Trump could use to explain the move to Turkey’s president, who officials knew would be furious. The Turks viewed the Kurdish fighters as terrorists and their No. 1 enemy.
Obama hoped that his last-minute preparations would clear the way for Trump to authorize a swift assault on the Islamic State’s most important stronghold, where U.S. intelligence officials say militants are plotting attacks outside Syria.
Instead of running with the plan, Trump’s national security team deemed it wholly insufficient and swiftly tossed it.
To the incoming Trump administration, Obama’s approach was so incremental and risk-averse that it was almost certain to fail. “They provided the information, but we found huge gaps in it,” said a senior Trump administration official who reviewed the document. “It was poor staff work.”
Instad of this, the Trump administration will develop a new plan, according to the Washington Post:
The Obama plan required U.S. forces to train the Kurds in using the new equipment and fighting in a densely packed city, but it lacked details about how many U.S. troops would be required and where the training would take place, the Trump administration official said. Trump officials said they were dismayed that there was no provision for coordinating operations with Russia and no clear political strategy for mollifying the Turks.
Nor were there contingency plans if the Kurdish attack stalled, the senior Trump administration official said.
“What bothered us most of all was that there was no Plan B,” the Trump official said.
To the Trump team, it seemed that Obama administration officials had delayed authorizing the plan because they knew it was inadequate and did not want to be held responsible, the official said.