Friday, April 29, 2016

Pentagon Officials Defend Islamic State War Strategy

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (L) defers to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford as they testify on operations against the Islamic State, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2016 © Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Washington Post: Facing skepticism, military leaders say Islamic State strategy is making headway

Top U.S. military leaders faced skepticism Thursday on Capitol Hill as they made the case that President Obama’s strategy in Iraq and Syria is beginning to show results against the Islamic State.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described growing momentum against the group, which has lost ground to U.S.-backed fighters in Syria and Iraq in recent months. Carter and Dunford also outlined new military measures designed to make local forces more effective.

In the past two weeks, Obama has approved plans to allow American advisers to accompany local troops closer to the front lines in Iraq, and the use of attack helicopters and long-range artillery in a highly anticipated offensive to recapture the northern city of Mosul. In Syria, the president substantially increased the size of a Special Operations advisory force, which officials say in recent months has made headway in identifying and bringing together local forces that may eventually be able to press into the militant stronghold of Raqqa.

The U.S. strategy centers on equipping and advising partner forces in both countries while using American air and artillery support to help those forces advance into well-defended militant areas.

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More News On Pentagon Officials Defending Their Islamic State War Strategy

Counter-ISIL Effort Makes Gains in Iraq, Syria, Chairman Tells Senate Panel -- US Department of Defense
As Syrian Cease-fire Falters, Anti-IS Campaign Questioned on Capitol Hill -- VOA
Carter Defends US Strategy for Defeating Islamic State Group -- NYT/AP
Ashton Carter, lawmakers clash over Iraq ‘war’ rhetoric -- Washington Times
Top U.S. General Outlines Needs for Fighting Islamic State in Syria -- WSJ
'Hope is not a strategy': Pentagon chief struggles to sell ISIS plan in Senate -- RT
Pentagon working to ‘take out’ ISIS’ internet -- AFP
Carter: Apache Helicopters Will Attack ISIS -- Scout

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