After he was asked Thursday how the battle against ISIS is going, James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense gave a simple answer, after he was at a classified briefing at the Pentagon with the President Donald Trump.
“We’re winning; they’re losing,” Mattis told a reporter after the briefing, which was attended by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and top White House adviser Jared Kushner.
SecSef Mattis leaving House briefing on ISIS.
Me: Progress against ISIS?
Mattis: “We’re winning. They’re losing.” pic.twitter.com/MhsRKe3UqE
— Leandra Bernstein (@LeandraB_sbg) July 20, 2017
Mattis’s comments resembled those made by the President Ronald Reagan in 1988 when stating his objective regarding the Soviet Union.
Reagan then said: “We win; they lose”.
Trump used the phrase “ISIS is falling fast”, as he expressed her shared view that in the current fight the US and allies are the winners.
President Trump declares “ISIS is falling fast” during Pentagon visit pic.twitter.com/aydG5QB3U2
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 21, 2017
Earlier this month, after months of constant fighting, the city of Mosul which was held by ISIS fell to the Iraqi forces, which have the support of US.
IHS Markit assessed that ISIS territory has decreased 60% from two years ago, and the group’s cash flow is down 80%.
— IHS news (@IHS_news) June 29, 2017
This map shows the ISIS’s territory in black.
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) July 10, 2017
Dunford has told the reporters that a “great progress” was made.
Dunford said that compared to the situation from 24 months ago, their territory, available resources, the potential for external operations, a great progress was made.
The top United States envoy to the global anti-ISIS coalition, Brett McGurk, has added the fight with them is not yet over.
McGurk said that a progress is being made but there is still much to be done, adding that there are “no timelines” for ultimate success.
Dr. James Carafano, Heritage Foundation national security expert, said that the key for the United States and its allies is not to forfeit the hard-fought gains.
He confirmed that they are winning but said that they were also winning before as in 2008 the terrorism was almost on its knees, but over the next three years the United States softened its policies a little, allowing terrorists to return to the scene.
Carafano also said the abrupt withdrawal of the United States forces from Iraq under President Barack Obama paved the way for ISIS to strengthen its position.
He said that a lesson needs to be learned. “Now that we have taken Islamist terrorism down a notch, don’t declare victory and walk away.”
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