One of the least covered news events in the world has been the battle to recapture Mosul and Western Iraq from ISIS. Hundreds of U.S. Special Operators have been coordinating Iraqi and Kurdish troops, calling in air and artillery strikes and training troops since President Obama ordered a mini-surge last April.
It is estimated by the Pentagon and international media that over 1000 ISIS fighters have died each month since then. The final compliment of Spec Op troops are arriving in Iraq this week and the battle will begin. Now that Mosul is nearly encircled the largest urban siege since WWII, Trump weighed in. He has already demeaned POWs, and the current command structure of the military (e.g. the generals are “stupid”). Now he has claimed that the battle for Mosul is a “catastrophe” and that it is making us look stupid.
It is one thing to question policy, but quite another to act as a propaganda outlet for ISIS, undermine troop morale, undermine their confidence in their command. It could be that he is simply so profoundly ignorant of the military (he was unaware that that the military has it’s own legal system) that he is unaware of what he is doing.
The CO of the War College took the extraordinary step of responding to Trump’s inane comments on “element of surprise”, but Trump answered with his usual demeaning comments instead of refraining from make strategic commentary. On the other hand, if his comments are intentional, whether it is to get himself elected or not, then he it perilously close to treason – giving aid and comfort to ISIS.
Our troops are superbly trained, motivated and lethal. Their commanders are the extraordinarily intelligent, educated, and aggressive – many of the Special Ops Commanders actually get into the field to personally view and participate in battles. They all deserve our support.
In my day, they had “Hanoi Jane”. Apparently, troops fighting and dying today have their “Roqqa Don”.