Mapping Obama's Strategy to Defeat ISIS in Iraq

This is the plan laid out by Gen. Dempsey and Secretary Hagel

The plan includes:

  • Training a force of 5,000 moderate Syrian rebels to take the areas that border Iraq, although Dempsey acknowledged it may take a force of 12,000 to wrest the area from ISIS forces. If the U.S. trained rebels were attacked by Syrian government forces, the U.S. would help them, Hagel said.
  • Advise Iraqi troops for an offensive that would launch northward from west and north of Baghdad.
  • Kurdish forces in the north of Iraq would push south into areas held by ISIS.
  • Combined with U.S. air power, the multi-pronged attack would put ISIS “in an untenable position,” Dempsey said.
  • Get help from Arab countries that hopefully will provide special forces, trainers, tankers and strike aircraft.