Based on military progress in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command is undertaking an operational alignment and rebalancing effort to achieve three specific goals, USCENTCOM commander Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel told the House Armed Services Committee last week.
However, the commander said, “We remain very clear-eyed regarding both the permanence of that progress and the challenges that we face in the future.”
The first goal, he outlined, is to complete major combat operations in Iraq and Syria and bring the campaign to defeat ISIS to a responsible close. Military success in the campaign up to this point presents USCENTCOM with an opportunity to reposition some of its resources from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan, he said, “in a manner that keeps the pressure on ISIS but also sets us up to break the stalemate in Afghanistan.”
“We retain sufficient capability to continue our efforts against ISIS,” he emphasized, “despite the increasingly complex situation across Syria and especially in the northwest province of Afrin.”