Coverage about the defeat of ISIS has been eerily quiet in the mainstream media, and the last ragtag group of terrorists in Syria who pleaded for mercy has been sparsely reported.
Given the United States engagement in the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, one would expect banner headlines above the fold on the New York Times and parades in the street. Such has not been the case. That may be that the once-heralded liberal Pres. Barack Obama not only failed to bring the murders to justice, he inspired the largest terrorist fighting force ever, ISIS.
That being said, Pres. Donald J. Trump brought ISIS to its knees in less than one year. The beleaguered fighters that just gave up in Syria were under continued Russian-Syrian fire, keeping them just out of the American military’s reach. As the last remnants of ISIS beg to quit the battlefield outside Damascus, many Americans are asking how did the war draw down so quickly and where do things go from here?
How Was ISIS So Thoroughly Defeated?
Both the Bush and Obama administrations took a somewhat half-hearted approach to eradicating Al-Qaeda and what Pres. Obama infamously called the “JV team,” ISIS.
Pres. Bush and, to a much greater extent, Pres. Obama, attempted to balance winning the boots-on-the-ground war with international politics. The result of holding back the military in an effort to not offend other world leaders ultimately prolonged the war, caused greater suffering, loss of life and spawned ISIS.
The military restraint that was employed allowed fighters to flee the battlefield or be released from holding cells in places such as Guantanamo Bay. They returned to rape and murder innocent women and children and fight American soldiers again. In many respects, Pres. Trump demonstrated the will of a strongman by deferring to U.S. generals to cull together a strategy to wipe ISIS from the face of the earth. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis called it “annihilation.
Basically, the joint military forces no longer allowed the jihadist to retreat. They offered surrender or death. That sentiment was best characterized by a social media post directed at ISIS by the Pentagon’s senior enlisted member. He stated on Facebook:
“ISIS needs to understand that the Joint Force is on orders to annihilate them. So they have two options, should they decide to come up against the United States, our allies and partners: surrender or die!”
“If they surrender, we will safeguard them to their detainee facility cell, provide them chow, a cot and due process.”
“HOWEVER, if they choose not to surrender, then we will kill them with extreme prejudice, whether that be through security force assistance, by dropping bombs on them, shooting them in the face, or beating them to death with our entrenching tools.”
“Regardless, they cannot win, so they need to choose how it’s going to be.”
After more than a decade and a half, cutting off escape routes, dropping a MOAB on an underground camp and the full knowledge jihadist were without options broke them in just 12 months.
Where Does ISIS Go From Defeat?
Although the U.S. military and the allies struck down upwards of 98 percent of the radical Muslim extremists on the battlefield, an estimated 1,000 to 5,000 insurgents may have deserted their comrades and slipped away in the dead of night. These few remaining terrorists are currently in hiding, and attempting to join extremists in other areas of the world. Many fear they have traveled to their country of origin undetected and are plotting against civilians.
As the final expulsion from Iraq and Syria is completed, ISIS faces the reality that it has failed to hold its “caliphate” in every corner, including Libya and the Philippines. The extremists continue to hold sway in Yemen after America’s Saudi Arabian allies dispelled the jihadists.
With the backing of the U.S. and other stakeholders, the dregs of ISIS are suffering surgical strikes and being hunted by elite special forces units. ISIS has touted the deaths of the American soldiers in Nigeria near Mali. Many expect the extremists will attempt to regroup in Asia, but growing American military collaboration makes any notion ISIS has of rebuilding its former might unrealistic.
Knowing the only options are “surrender or die” appears to have broken the terror group’s back.
~ Conservative Zone