FPRI Robert A. Fox Fellow Clint Watts was recently cited in an article about Trump’s comments on the Mosul campaign. Read the full article here.
“He was trying to play up surprise, but he doesn’t understand the reasons at all why we’ve been forecasting this, which is to get as many civilians out as possible and to push for as many defections from ISIS as possible,” Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and former Army officer, told Business Insider.
“[ISIS] just lost [the symbolic Syrian town] Dabiq, so if you take Dabiq first, then maybe you get a lot of defections and people running for the hills,” he said.
“That’s why they kept saying ‘We’re starting now.’ When you have the Iraqi army and a lot of these units that aren’t the American army, you want to thin the herd as much as possible before you send them in.”
It wasn’t a secret that the Iraqi army was moving in on Mosul , he added, Business Insider reported.
“There is no surprise when you’re taking Mosul after two years,” Watts said. “[ISIS] can see the Iraqi army surrounding them on the periphery.”
“Really this comes down to his advisers,” he told the news outlet. “He’s got, in my opinion, horrible counterterrorism and national security advisers.”