National Security

Mattis ISIS Plan Will Counter The Group In Several Countries, Using Multiple Agencies

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s plan to finally destroy the Islamic State will include multiple U.S. government agencies and several foreign countries, according to the Pentagon.

Mattis is expected to deliver the plan to the White House some time next week. President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon Jan. 28 to review the current counter-ISIS strategy and deliver a new plan within a month.

“It will address ISIS globally, and it is not just a DoD plan,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis Tuesday. “We’re charged with leading the development of the plan, but it absolutely calls upon the capabilities of other departments.”

Davis said the memorandum charged the Pentagon with leading the review, but that other departments are involved.

“We have been working diligently with our interagency partners to develop it with the intelligence community, our military commanders on the ground, the Joint Staff and our policy team here, and it represents the input of a number of other departments,” said Davis.

The new plan is expected to counter ISIS on multiple levels, in many countries. In addition to destroying the terrorist group’s presence in Syria and Yemen, the plan will include Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and southeast Asia as well.

Mattis completed his first trip to the Middle East as secretary of defense Monday, reportedly gaining new insights that will help shape his policy recommendations. While further details of the plan have yet to be revealed, the Pentagon is reportedly considering sending conventional ground forces into Syria to bolster the ISIS fight.

“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” a defense official told CNN last Wednesday.

The U.S. currently maintains a small force of 500 special operations forces in Syria, while approximately 4,460 troops are operating in Iraq.

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