Pentagon Granted Authority to Determine Troop Levels in ISIS Fight

By Sam Dorman

Defense Secretary James Mattis now has more flexibility in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State after the White House granted the Pentagon new authorities to determine the number of U.S. troops deployed to Iraq and Syria.

President Donald Trump on April 20 gave Mattis the authority to set the Force Management Level, or FML, the maximum number of forces deployed to a conflict, in both Middle Eastern countries, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday.

Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White confirmed the move to BuzzFeed but said no changes to troop levels or strategy have been made in the fight against ISIS.

“This does not represent a change in our mission in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS,” White said in a statement. “Our strategy remains to work by, with, and through local forces. Restoring FML decisions to the secretary of defense enables military commanders to be more agile, adaptive, and efficient in supporting our partners, and enables decisions that benefit unit readiness, cohesion, and lethality.”

The FML number is sent to Congress, which is updated in the event of a major force deployment.

Mattis, who defense officials said requested the change, ordered the Department of Defense to review FML after receiving the new authority from …read more

Source:: Washington Free Beacon