Donald Trump promised during the campaign to implement a "secret plan" to defeat ISIS, including a pledge to "bomb the hell out of" the terror group in Iraq and Syria.Now, the Pentagon has given him a secret plan, but it turns out to be a little more than an "intensification" of the same slow and steady approach that Trump derided under the Obama administration, two senior officials who have reviewed the document told NBC News.The plan calls for continued bombing; beefing up support and assistance to local forces to retake its Iraqi stronghold Mosul and ultimately the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria; drying up ISIS's sources of income; and stabilizing the areas retaken from ISIS, the officials say.
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump assured Americans he had amazing ideas for how best to annihilate ISIS. The Republican wouldn't tell voters what the plan entailed, of course, but rest assured, it was going to be awesome.The first sign that Trump's plan may not actually exist, however, came on January 28, when the president signed an executive directive on the matter, effectively asking his national security team to come up with some kind of anti-ISIS plan for him. (For the record, the directive wasn't exactly necessary: Trump could've just given an order. That, however, wouldn't have been theatrical enough for this president.)The Trump administration's plan has now taken shape, and as NBC News reported, it looks pretty familiar.
In other words, Trump, after condemning Obama's strategy, is now implementing Obama's strategy. A New York Times report added today that, with limited exceptions, Trump officials "have shown few other signs that they want to back away from Mr. Obama's strategy."Retired Admiral James Stavridis, an NBC News analyst, added, "The current plan to defeat the Islamic State is just like that old saying: Plan B is just, 'Try harder at Plan A.'"What about voters who believed Trump was serious about an amazing secret plan that would destroy ISIS? They're welcome to commiserate with voters who believed Trump was going to replace "Obamacare" with a plan that covers "everybody," those who thought his budget would benefit working families, those who believed he'd combat the opioid epidemic, those who took seriously his rhetoric about standing up to Wall Street, those who thought he'd "drain the swamp" and weaken lobbyists' influence, and those who thought he wouldn't go golfing all the time.