New Plan to Crush ISIS Surprisingly Similar to Old Plan

Suhaib Salem/Reuters via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Yesterday a reader asked me what was happening with the new plan to annihilate ISIS, which was supposed to be ready to go at the end of February. It’s done, I told him, but it hasn’t been released yet. He wrote back, asking how I knew stuff like this. I told him my secret source: I think I read about it in the New York Times.

All well and good, but what’s in the plan? My secret source this time is NBC News:

Now, the Pentagon has given [Trump] a secret plan, but it turns out to be a little more than an “intensification” of the same slow and steady approach that Trump derided under the Obama administration, two senior officials who have reviewed the document told NBC News.

The plan calls for continued bombing; beefing up support and assistance to local forces to retake its Iraqi stronghold Mosul and ultimately the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria; drying up ISIS’s sources of income; and stabilizing the areas retaken from ISIS, the officials say.

Gee, I thought we were supposed to be bombing the shit out of ISIS and taking Iraq’s oil, but apparently that plan got lost somewhere between Election Day and now. Or did it? After all, there’s no chance that President Trump is going to announce this new plan as an “intensification.” He’s going to go on TV and claim that it’s the biggest military operation since D-Day. It makes Rolling Thunder look like kids with popguns. It’s more strategically brilliant than the Inchon landing. And it will be a more famous victory than even the Gipper’s invasion of Granada.

When you hear all this stuff, just remember that it’s Trump’s usual “truthful hyperbole.” In reality, the new operation is just going to be a modest uptick in the tempo of the Obama plan that’s been gradually and steadily making progress for the past two years.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate