Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trump Makes Two Promising Moves in the War on Terror

Carlos Barria/Reuters
Newly announced policy changes suggest the president has learned from his predecessors’ mistakes.
Donald Trump is making the right moves in America’s long war. Yesterday and today, the New York Times broke news of two important but incremental changes in American policy that will make it more difficult for terrorists to operate in safe havens abroad and infiltrate our communities here at home. Both changes, if properly implemented, will make America safer without placing excessive strain on military resources or diplomatic relationships. In other words, they’ll provide us a sustainable way to fight.
The first change, reported last night, is that Trump is preparing to “dismantle key Obama-era limits on drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional battlefields.” The language is a tad overblown, but the essence of the reported change is that Trump intends to delegate strike decisions to lower levels of the command chain and expand the list of potential targets from “high-level” militants to include jihadist “foot soldiers.” Crucially, the administration is not prepared to relax rules of engagement that require a “near certainty” that there will be no civilian casualties.
By delegating strike decisions, the administration will be better able to quickly engage targets. By attacking even “foot soldiers,” the administration is taking an important step toward preventing the creation of jihadist safe havens and diminishing jihadist strike capability. As I’ve noted many times, when terrorists are able to create and maintain safe havens, their power to strike abroad increases immensely. That’s the lesson of al-Qaeda’s control over Afghanistan and of ISIS’s control over vast stretches of Syria and Iraq.
The second change --->
Read the rest from David French HERE and follow links below to related stories:

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