Just 100 Days Before Trump’s Secret Plan to Crush ISIS Kicks In

Let the countdown begin.

An ISIS fighter in Syria in June 2014Ho/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire

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During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump made defeating ISIS a centerpiece of his foreign policy, criticizing President Barack Obama for being “out of touch” with what it takes to wipe out the so-called Islamic State (perhaps because he was the terrorist group’s “founder”). But despite Trump’s year-and-a-half-old claim of having a “foolproof” and “absolute” plan to “crush” ISIS, he has offered few details other than tactics like “bomb the shit out of ’em,” “take the oil,” and “take out their families,” the majority of which are considered war crimes under international law.

But in early September, he finally provided a glimpse into what this plan entails: He will task his “top generals” with creating it—and they’ll have just 30 days to do it once he enters the White House. Until then, let’s review what he says he’s planning:

  • “I will also quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS.”
  • “ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps, certain areas of oil that they took away. They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the shit out of ’em. I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I’d blow up the pipes…I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left.”
  • “You heard me, I would take the oil. I would not leave Iraq and let Iran take the oil.”
  • “I don’t want the enemy to know what I’m doing…All I can tell you, it is a foolproof way of winning, and I’m not talking about what some people would say, but it is a foolproof way of winning the war with ISIS.”
  • “The problem with politics is if I tell you right now, everyone else is going to say, ‘Wow, what a great idea.’ You’re going to have 10 candidates go and use it, and they’re going to forget where it came from, which is me. But no, I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS.”
  • “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.”
  • “I have a simple message for [ISIS]: Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how…We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly.”
  • “I’m going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.”
  • “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.”

Now that Trump has won the election, those clueless generals better get to work. If Trump sticks to his timeline, we should have an amazing plan to defeat ISIS on his desk on February 19—100 days from now.

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Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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