At one point in time, ISIS wreaked havoc on the Middle East occupying land by force which included selling Christians into slavery, rape, the destruction of ancient artifacts, public hangings, and be-headings were commonplace. In America we saw how our own citizens were subjected to the brutality of ISIS, and during President Obama’s tenure, it seemed as though ISIS operated with impunity doing as they pleased. During his time in office, President Obama portrayed the fight against ISIS as one we were winning, but this was not true. Even his own CIA director John Brennan contradicted Obama’s presentation of events to the American people.
During the 2016 Presidential campaign, President Trump made it a point that definitively ridding the world of ISIS was a main priority of his, and it now seems he has made good on this campaign promise. President Obama micromanaged the war on ISIS with his apparent inept knowledge on the matter while President Trump made the standard much more clear and definitive which was the complete destruction of ISIS.
With President Trump in office ISIS has been decimated, now occupying about 1,900 square miles with about 1,000 ISIS fighters remaining. The day he was sworn into office, ISIS had about 35,000 fighters, and controlled about 17,500 square miles of territory in both Iraq and Syria. During his first year in office, President Trump and his military leaders have managed to take back an additional 26,800 miles of territory from ISIS and saved 5.3 million people from the evil of ISIS.
President Trump’s strategy was simple but effective, and he waged an aerial bombardment like ISIS had never seen. He made good on his campaign promise to “bomb the hell out of them.” This effective bombing campaign along with an effective plan and rules of engagement on the ground killed thousands of ISIS fighters saved millions of innocent people and surely saved the lives of U.S. military service members.
Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of the U.S. Air Force Intelligence described how the Obama Administration negligently handled the war on ISIS by saying, “The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks. The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.” Then on January 20, 2017 President Trump was sworn into office, and ISIS no longer had the upper hand due to poor leadership.
ISIS started to lose significant ground when U.S. and Iraqi forces liberated their self-proclaimed capital of Mosul, Iraq. The fight to take back Mosul was tough, but the win for U.S. forces in Iraq created a strategic advantage ISIS would not be able to overcome. Col. Ryan Dillon, the chief U.S. spokesman for the U.S. led coalition said, “It just snowballed, and it turned into where we are right now, with a full liberation of Iraq, and in Syria, continuing to chase down ISIS elements, the remnants of ISIS elements, in Syria.” Other cities like Tal Afar, Hawija, and Al Qaim followed suit, and then Syrian fighters backed by the United States reclaimed the other main stronghold of ISIS, Raqqa.
The contrast between why President Obama failed to defeat ISIS and President Trump has all but defeated them is clear. Military commanders under President Obama constantly had to wait on White House officials to confirm targets and the rules of engagement. With President Trump, he gave his military commanders clear and simple instructions and didn’t require them to obtain permission for every target they wanted to hit. Speaking with first hand knowledge on the matter, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said, “We don’t get second-guessed a lot. Our judgment here on the battlefield in the forward areas is trusted. And we don’t get 20 questions with every action that happens on the battlefield and every action that we take. Commanders now don’t, aren’t constantly calling back to higher headquarters asking for permission. They’re free to act.”
Even a former employee of President Obama agreed that President Trump and his administration have been much more effective in dealing with ISIS. White House Special Envoy Brett McGurk, who worked for President Obama and President Trump, said, “These delegations of tactical authorities from the president has really made a difference on the ground. I’ve seen that with my own eyes.”
In an opinion piece, Tammy Bruce from The Washington Times pointed out, “Five days after the Orlando terrorist atrocity, Mr. Brennan testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the most blunt way, describing a failure of the Obama administration that can only be described as monumental. Even as the president was out touting our supposed continuing success against ISIS or ISIL, other names for the Islamic State, Mr. Brennan contradicted him on every point, and in every way.” ISIS was not the junior varsity team President Obama had touted them as, and that mistake cost hundreds of lives
With ISIS on the run and President Trump following through with his campaign promise to defeat the terrorist regime, Americans can sleep a bit quieter now knowing there is a President in office who is putting America first and world politics second.