Top US general says ‘we’re not going to be the folks in uniform that say, ‘Look, we’ve thought of everything”
America’s Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford says the military will review its strategy to defeat the Islamic State for President-elect Donald Trump.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum here at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the four-star Marine general said Saturday he’s met with the Trump transition team, although he wouldn’t detail any policy recommendations he might make.
“We’re going to review that, obviously,” Dunford said of the strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL or ISIS. “The president-elect has indicated he wants to review that.”
“We met with the transition team on Wednesday and began a dialogue that will be ongoing here over the next several weeks,” he said.
During his long campaign for the White House, the Republican presidential candidate from New York repeatedly slammed President Barack Obama and his administration for the war against the Islamic State, dismissing it as lackluster and ineffective.
On Saturday, Dunford said the military was “never complacent” in its fight against ISIL and had made “some significant progress” against it, including shrinking the group’s territory in Iraq, striking its resources there and in Syria and disrupting its ability to plan and carry out external attacks.
“Having said that, there are some things that we would probably bring in to the new administration for consideration because, obviously, there’s a policy framework within which … the military dimension of the strategy takes place today,” Dunford said.
“We’ll make sure that, as we go through transition, they understand what that policy framework is, they understand where there may be some flexibility to make changes in that policy framework, which will then inform maybe some course and speed corrections to our strategy,” he added.
Dunford said he wouldn’t speak more specifically because he owes it to the incoming Trump administration to “have that conversation in private first and then afford our decision-makers a chance to make a decision.”
“The one thing that we won’t do as a team coming in is, we’re not going to be the folks in uniform that say, ‘Look, we’ve thought of everything. We’re comfortable where we are,’” he said.