Donald Trump was hardly the only one with a productive first day in office. After being overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate on Friday, General “Mad Dog” Mattis sent a letter to the employees of the Department of Defense, declaring, among other things, “You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind. Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.”
That philosophy was on full display on day one.
He then proceeded to bomb ISIS 31 times.
As Milo Yiannopoulos reported: Syria took the bulk of the strikes with 25 total, while Iraq was hit six times. Two of the strikes in Syria successfully neutralized ISIS units, as well as artillery near the city of Bab. ISIS units in the city of Raqqa also suffered losses, with 22 strikes pulverizing 12 tactical units, two underground explosive bomb factories, and an ISIS base. Mattis also oversaw strikes that hit two ISIS oil wells in Syria.
In Iraq, Mattis continued to crush ISIS forces. One of the strikes, taking place in the city of Rutbah, eliminated a tactical unit, two weapons caches, a mortar and a vehicle. Strikes in the city of Beiji also demolished a unit and a vehicle, while another strike in Kisik blew up a building and a tactical unit. To cap it all off, Mattis oversaw two strikes against Mosul, the ISIS region capital in Iraq, which annihilated two units, a tank, a factory that manufactures car bombs, and three fighting positions.
For some context, the U.S. and allies have averaged around seven airstrikes on Syria a day since they first began in September of 2014. On his first day, Mattis quadrupled that average.
Trump has said in the past that he wants to see ISIS wiped off the face of the Earth within 30 days of his presidency. That may be a bit ambitious – but it’s clear that Mattis is already ramping up the offensive against ISIS. No longer do we have to worry about Obama blocking 75 percent of airstrikes against ISIS (yes – he really did that).
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]