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Trump gives generals 30 days for new anti-ISIS strategy
01 February 2017, 01:24 | Candice Butler
Abu Musab was finishing his night shift at an ISIS checkpoint in Raqqa early on November 9 when the friend who came to replace him told him the result of the U.S. election with a hysterical laugh.
The text signed on Saturday, which calls for a "comprehensive strategy and plans for the defeat of ISIS", is seen as meaning that more United States forces and military hardware will move into Iraq and Syria. "The Plan shall include... identification of new coalition partners in the fight against ISIS and policies to empower coalition partners to fight ISIS and its affiliates", Trump said in a memorandum.Last week, General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he would present Mattis with options to "accelerate the campaign" against IS. In a series of interviews, Abu Musab and two other recent defectors, as well as two current ISIS members, described the reaction to Trump's election inside ISIS's self-styled caliphate - ranging from celebration among ISIS members to fear that the US-led military campaign against the group will intensify.
The terror group has claimed responsibility for the violent murder of American citizens in the Middle East, including the beheading of Steven Sotloff, Peter Abdul-Rahman Kassig and James Foley, as well as the death of Kayla Mueller. Many leading tech executives have also spoken against the order. And the plan seeks information operations, digital strategies and public diplomacy to isolate Daesh and its radical Islamist ideology.
Other steps reportedly being contemplated include increasing use of United States special forces in Syria and Iraq, directly arming Kurdish forces (a move that is likely to anger the Turks), and potentially including Turkish forces in the Raqqa operation. It is understood the two discussed defeating terrorism in Syria and around the world. In his first visit as president to Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, he reiterated that "Radical Islamic terrorism... has to be eradicated".
"As we prepare our budget request for Congress, and I think Congress is going to be very happy to see it, our military strength will be questioned by no one, but neither will our dedication to peace", he said.
Trump also intends to sign an executive order restructuring the National Security Council and streamlining procedures in a way that the White House believes would be more adaptive to modern threats, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to brief reporters ahead of the president's signing ceremony.
A USA defence official, speaking to reporters after the talks, said they discussed ways to accelerate the defeat of Islamic State, among other hot-button issues, including the threat from North Korea, but offered no details.
On the campaign trail, Trump had criticized the Obama administration for its handling of the Islamic State and declared that he knows more than generals about the group.
President Trump signed an executive order blocking people from seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. It's disturbing the administration took such a strategically counter-productive action.
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