U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) and Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford hold a press briefing on the campaign to defeat ISIS at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

During a press briefing on May 19, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described a tactical shift in the US-led effort against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“By taking the time up front to surround these locations, instead of simply shoving them from one [location] to another and actually reinforcing them as they fall back … we now take the time to surround them,” Mattis said.

Mattis then got specific about the coalition’s focus going forward.

“Those foreign fighters are a threat, so by taking the time to deconflict, to surround, and then attack, we carry out the annihilation campaign so we don’t simply transplant this problem from one location to another,” he told reporters.

The phrase “annihilation campaign” caught some by surprise.

As Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Micah Zenko noted at the time, it appeared “nowhere in US military doctrine” and differed from earlier approaches outlined by US military leaders.

“You can’t kill or capture your way out of an industrial-strength insurgency like that which we faced in Iraq,” retired Army Gen. David Petraeus said at a Harvard event in spring 2009, when he was chief of US …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

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