“There is no doubt that the organization is under pressure and exhausted by the US-led coalition. Its degraded capability will force the organization to revert to its usual playbook. First, the organization will resort to terrorist campaigns against civilians whether in the West or in its so-called caliphate. The Brussels attacks aims at polarizing Western societies and triggering an indiscriminate backlash against Muslims living what it terms the ‘far abroad.’ The organization’s objective is to weaken Muslims’ identification with their countries of citizenship and reinforce the ‘us versus them’ narrative. The return of fighters to countries of origin -- over 400, according to media reports -- grouped in cells trained for bombing and counterintelligence operations herald the establishment of a network largely autonomous from its mother organization in Iraq and Syria. A similar strategy of terror campaigning has been applied by the organization in Iraq where the organization launched a series of attacks between February 25 and February 29.”
Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced on Friday that he and Defense Secretary Ash Carter have recommended that the U.S. send more troopsto the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. The recent death of a U.S. Marine at a then-undisclosed firebase in Iraq involved in direct combat revealed that the Pentagon's hasn't exactly been straight about the extent of U.S. operations in the country. The additional troops would add to the nominal 3,870-troop limit on U.S. forces in Iraq, which is actually closer to 5,000 when “temporary” deployments are added to the figure.