Liberals may not want to admit it, but President Trump is succeeding ‘bigly’ with one of his major campaign promises: crushing ISIS.
By discarding Obama-era rules of engagement and giving the military greater freedom, the Trump administration has decimated ISIS with a speed that’s even surprising commanders on-the-ground.
With less than a year in office, President Trump has overseen massive gains against the Islamic caliphate, with the once-powerful terror state losing city after city.
ISIS once governed immense territory in Iraq and Syria, ruling over 8 million people and controlling profitable refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes, and arsenals.
Now, ISIS controls only 3 percent of Iraq and 5 percent of Syria. Their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in hiding. American forces and regional allies have liberated key cities like Mosul, Raqqa, Tel Afar, and Rawa.
Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News he credits the Trump administration with providing the right leadership.
“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Croft said. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”
President Trump has allowed Defense Secretary James Mattis great latitude to work without micromanagement. Mattis, a former Marine Corps. General and Commander of United States Central Command, is the first senior military officer to serve as Defense Secretary since George Marshall in the ’50s.
The President’s hands-off approach has led to accelerated results. “It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”
Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, described feeling “liberated” under the new leadership.
“I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”
Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, echoed Folsom’s sentiment, saying commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.”
“We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here.”
Sofge pointed to the loosening of rules of engagement designed to reduce civilian casualties, suggesting such rules had previously made troops less efficient.
Speaking about the modification of rules of engagement under President Trump, Sofge said:
“We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards. We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.”
Yahya Rasool, spokesman for Iraq’s Defense Ministry, also praised the Trump administration.
“I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” he said. “But after a while I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.”
President Trump allows his liberal detractors to whine while he–and America–continue to win.