Mapping Obama's Strategy to Defeat ISIS in Iraq

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

ByLUIS MARTINEZ
September 17, 2014, 1:37 PM

— -- The Obama administration's strategy for defeating ISIS in Iraq envisions the Islamic terror group squeezed on three sides and from the air, making their grip on northern Iraq "untenable."

The strategy was laid out Tuesday by Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a Senate hearing.

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.

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