If President Trump has made one thing clear, it’s his commitment to fighting terrorism. Appointing James Mattis as Defense Secretary was a great start, but Trump has showed no signs of slowing down.
Shortly after taking office, he directed the Pentagon, within the next 30 days, to submit a plan to defeat ISIS. More recently, he vowed to push for one of the largest increases in defense spending in years.
Giving our military the troops and equipment it needs is just half the battle. If we’re going to defeat our enemies, our commanders in the field have to be able to use these resources. Thankfully, President Trump seems to understand that, too.
From The Hill:
President Trump granted U.S. commanders the authority to order attacks in countries with little American military presence shortly after taking office, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
That measure has become pronounced in Yemen, where the president gave U.S. Central Commander Gen. Joseph Votel the authority to carry out military strikes without the approval of the White House.
This is great news for our leaders in the field, as the process to get approval for operations is often needlessly burdensome. Now, they will have the authority to use their judgement and carry out vital operations seamlessly.
Clearly, the realities of the threats we face make this move necessary:
In Yemen, the new authority is directed at fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), widely considered among the terrorist group’s highest-profile and dangerous affiliates.
“I don’t want to telegraph future operations, but this is part of a plan to go after a very real threat, to ensure they are defeated and denied the opportunity to plot and carry out terrorist attacks from ungoverned spaces,” Davis said, according to the report.
When facing such a serious threat, delays in the process to carry out operations can have serious consequences. This new policy could have life-saving implications.
Needless to say, military commanders will be pleased. Having their hands tied by a bureaucratic process has been a major problem for quite some time:
That approval process, the Examiner reports, was frustrating and unnecessarily complex for U.S. military leaders there, requiring commanders to submit memos justifying the action to the White House.
“Our goal is for enemy to be surprised and caught off guard and that is what we have achieved in the past couple of nights with these strikes,” Davis told the Examiner.
We’re just over a month into the Trump presidency, but all indications show the United States is finally gearing up to take the fight to our enemies. Although we call the combatants we face terrorists, they are the ones who should be terrified of America’s new approach.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]