President Donald Trump’s more aggressive approach in fighting ISIS is having a significant effect on the terror organization, according to one military mind.
That assessment came from retired Gen. Jack Keane, who told Fox Business News on Wednesday that the Trump administration has taken a more hard-line stance against ISIS then the Obama administration, and it’s showing in the territory ISIS is losing.
“[The Trump administration] made the strategic decision to crush ISIS as quickly as possible; that stands in stark contrast to the Obama decision,” Keane told Fox Business’ Trish Regan on “The Intelligence Report.”
Per the latest intelligence figures reported by Fox Business, ISIS, which boasted roughly 45,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria in 2015, now has less than 1,000 fighters in those territories.
On Tuesday, military officials reported that ISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it controlled at its peak, with half of those losses occurring since President Trump took office, according to Fox News.
Keane said the Obama administration allowed ISIS to expand and didn’t provide aid quickly enough to the forces in Iraq who were battling the group.
“The truth is when ISIS rolled into Iraq in January 2014, they grew from several hundred fighters in 18 months to over 30,000,” Keane said. “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 several changes in strategy instituted by the Trump administration helped to turn the tide against ISIS, which once dreamed of forming of a caliphate.
“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,” Keane said.
“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.”