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James Mattis' plan for ISIS in 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis. Photo: Keith Lane / Getty Images

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Friday that the Islamic State is a "brand with a diminishing appeal" for terrorists. Here's part of his 2018 plan for handling ISIS:

  • Continue training troops and local police with the Iraqi government to handle terrorism: "We need to drive this down to the point where it can be handled by local authorities...But right now, it is still very much a military intelligence type of operation."
  • Shifting U.S. troops to a "stabilizing effort focused on supporting the diplomatic approach" in Syria and Iraq, including reopening schools, working with police, and setting up water systems.
  • Hunting down ISIS fighters who have escaped Raqqa into the Middle Euphrates River Valley. Mattis said ISIS fighters "have not proven they can stand against the Iraqi security forces..."