As President Donald Trump nears the conclusion of his first full year in office, Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) on Wednesday said that his administration has already been much more aggressive in the fight against ISIS than his predecessor.
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“[The Trump administration] made the strategic decision to crush ISIS as quickly as possible, that stands in stark contrast to the Obama decision,” he told FOX Business’ Trish Regan on “The Intelligence Report.”
Keane said the Obama administration let the terror organization expand and failed to deliver aid fast enough to the forces in Iraq.
“The truth is when ISIS rolled into Iraq in January 2014, they grew from several hundred fighters in 18 months to over 30,000. It took them 15 months before they ever did anything about the oil fields in Syria, which was ISIS’ main source of revenue,” he said.
According to the latest intelligence assessment, fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters now remain in Iraq and Syria, down from nearly 45,000 in 2015.
Keane named a few of the key ways that the Trump administration was able to make headway against the terror organization.
“One, change the rules of engagement to facilitate the use of military force more effectively. Number two, make sure that we are not micromanaging our commanders the way the Obama White House did. Number three, give them the additional resources that the commanders have been asking for, so we gave them a significant amount of air power, we brought in artillery, and then we increased our special operations forces and advisers,” he said.
On Tuesday, military officials said that ISIS has lost 98% of its territory since President Trump took office.
Keane said the Trump administration has the right to take a “victory lap” over its achievements fighting ISIS.