Trump gives generals free rein in Islamic State fight

Trump gives generals free rein in Islamic State fight, by Dion Nissenbaum.

U.S. military commanders are stepping up their fight against Islamist extremism as President Donald Trump’s administration urges them to make more battlefield decisions on their own.

As the White House works on a broad strategy, America’s top military commanders are implementing the vision articulated by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: Decimate Islamic State’s Middle East strongholds and ensure that the militants don’t establish new beachheads in places such as Afghanistan and Somalia.

“There’s nothing formal, but it is beginning to take shape,” a senior U.S. defence official said Friday. “There is a sense among these commanders that they are able to do a bit more — and so they are.”

While military commanders complained about White House micromanagement under former President Barack Obama, they are now being told they have more freedom to make decisions without consulting Mr. Trump.