During President Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, he restated his promise to destroy the Islamic State. But what is the President’s strategy?
IS is a Sunni movement, predominantly located in Syria and Iraq, committed to re-establishing the caliphate and dominating the Islamic world. It has established an adjoining area of control stretching from Palmyra to Mosul. Its capital is Raqqa, Syria. IS maintains basic services, raises taxes, conducts kidnappings for ransom and conducts trade. If it succeeds in uniting the Islamic world under a caliphate, it could represent a global challenge. IS would have to defeat Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel if it were to succeed in expanding its caliphate. That is just not going to happen. Also continue to keep in mind that Iran, is Shia. And it is watching IS very closely.
Here is a brief update on IS activity:
●ISIS is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 people outside of Iraq and Syria. [The New York Times, July 16, 2016]
●In 2014, ISIS was operating in some seven nations. Today they are fully operational in 18 countries with aspiring branches in six more regions, for a total of 24 branches. [NBC News, Aug. 8, 2016]
●Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, is now flush with $150 billion in cash released by the United States – plus another $400 million in ransom. [The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 3, 2016]. We will watch to see what Iran will do to IS in Syria.
Currently the President is looking to do the following, we should hear of more strategic details regarding a campaign against IS sometime in February:
●Pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expand intelligence sharing, and cyber- warfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting.
●Defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War.
●Establish new screening procedures and enforce our immigration laws to keep terrorists out of the United States.
●Suspend, on a temporary basis, immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.
We watch world events to help us maintain our sense of urgency and remind ourselves of the need to overcome, knowing that the return of Jesus Christ is soon. Revelation 16:15; “Look, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he does not walk naked, and they see his shame.”—Steven LeBlanc