Quotes from the news wire:
I saw some of the A-10s that are flying bombing missions against ISIL (the Pentagon's term for ISIS) when I was at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey last December, and we need the additional payload capacity they can bring to the fight, we're pushing off the A-10's final retirement until 2022 so we can keep more aircraft that can drop smart bombs on ISIL.
To eliminate the parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, we are enabling local, motivated forces with critical support from a global coalition wielding a suite of capabilities — ranging from airstrikes, special forces, cyber tools, intelligence, equipment, mobility and logistics, training, advice and assistance, it must be local forces who deliver( ISIS) a lasting defeat, because only they can secure and govern the territory by building long-term trust within the populations they liberate.
The really valuable thing we get from their being there is that connection to local forces that are willing to take action, we learn about them and interact with them. We collect valuable intelligence that informs the air campaign -- valuable intelligence about how ISIL is preying upon the people, taxing the people and so forth that helps us with our -- the economic aspects of our campaign, the counter-financing, the counter-messaging parts of our campaign.
I expect him both to hear what we're doing, and continue to say what he's told me and Gen. (Joseph) Dunford, certainly for the military campaign, which is that he wants us to continue to come to him with proposals for ways that we can strengthen the campaign consistent with our overall strategic approach.
As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before, they'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men.
In full coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and to put even more pressure on ISIL, these special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders.
The plan was not for the U.S. advise-and-assist and accompanying forces to enter the compound or be involved in the firefight, this is someone who saw the team that he was advising and assisting coming under attack, and he made it possible for them to be effective, and in doing that, lost his own life.
I was not satisfied with the early efforts in that regard, and so we are looking at different ways to achieve the same strategic objectives, which is the right one, which is to enable capable motivated forces on the ground to retake territory from ISIL and reclaim Syrian territory from extremism so we have devised a number of different approaches to that going forward.
This does not mean that either of these sites will be chosen; we will also be assessing other locations in coming weeks, ultimately, the facility surveys will provide me, the rest of the President's national security team and Congress with some of the information needed to chart a responsible way forward and a plan so that we can close the detention facility at Guantanamo and this chapter in our history once and for all.
Ultimately, the facility surveys will provide me, the rest of the President's national security team and Congress with some of the information needed to chart a responsible way forward and a plan so that we can close the detention facility at Guantanamo and this chapter in our history once and for all.
What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight, they were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.
That is why I think we need to redouble our efforts to get -- hasten this delivery of equipment to them, their training to support Prime Minister Abadi, we can't make this happen by ourselves, but we can assist it to happen, and we are counting on the Iraqi people to come behind a multi-sectarian government in Baghdad.
When he was in Afghanistan as commanding general of ISAF joint command, I had a lot of opportunity to observe Mark on the ground leading our coalition allies and partners and helping the Afghan people prepare to take responsibility for their own security, mark and I flew to Iraq the day after an attack on the U.S. consulate there, and I saw Mark take command of the scene and stand with our people there I was impressed by his candor and good judgment, and I knew right away that he had more to offer the United States Army.
We also see great opportunities: Among them, to shift the great weight of the Department of Defense, both intellectual and physical, that has been devoted to Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Asia-Pacific region, where America will continue to play its seven-decade-old pivotal stabilizing role into the future.
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