After Trump comments, top Army general defends military’s leaders
US military leaders doubt IS will last long
Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff questions Pentagon troop numbers &# 171; Islamic State&# 187;
PENTAGON – a spokesman for the high command of the US Armed Forces denied the conclusions of his own Ministry of Defense that the self-proclaimed terrorist group “Islamic State”, or IS, as if it still has solid potential in countries such as Iraq and Syria, and is strong enough to to revive your lost “caliphate”.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford considered the analysis of the Ministry of Defense and the UN report, which states that IS has a number of fighters in these two countries, ranging from 20 to 32 thousand people, not reliable enough..
“I’ve seen recent reports of over 30,000 fighters. My confidence in such numbers is not very high, ”Joseph Dunford told reporters on Tuesday during a rare press conference with Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon.“ We are focusing on the threat that exists in the Euphrates Valley. We know that there are areas in Iraq where IS is resisting, but I would definitely not argue that the strength of IS is now the same as at its peak. “.
Military and intelligence leaders have long been wary of using specific numbers, especially to assess the effectiveness of ISIS operations. They consider any such attempt to be, at best, imprecise science. Some of the top officials in the US administration have also expressed – not yet publicly – concern that the latest estimates may mislead the US government. For example, they may consider people from among the relatives of real fighters as fighters, as well as those who simply maintain close ties with IS..
Doubts of the military leaders were caused by the data contained in the new report of the Office of the Inspector General of the military operation called “Unwavering Determination” in Iraq, as well as in the subsequent report of the United Nations. The report of the office of the inspector general cites figures provided by the Ministry of Defense, and claims that more than 17 thousand militants are fighting in the ranks of IS in Iraq, and another 13-14 thousand in Syria. The number of those stationed in areas where US troops are conducting operations ranges from four to six thousand, the report says..
When asked by the Voice of America News Service for the new numbers, US Department of Defense officials said IS “is quite capable of replenishing its forces and attempting to physically rebuild its caliphate.”.
This assessment is sharply at variance with previous characteristics regarding the scale of the threat from the Islamic State, when the Pentagon said that there was “confusion” in the ranks of IS, and its fighters were “hiding among local residents”.
News Service &# 171; Voices of America&# 187;