Originally, the Pentagon planned to retake Mosul from the Islamic State by the summer of 2015. Then it was by the fall. Now it will be 2017 at the earliest. But remember: the Islamic State is losing! “This caution reflects in part an acknowledgment that Islamic State’s control over Mosul may not be as fragile as the U.S. military initially believed.” Apparently the Pentagon has stopped believing its own falsified reports.
“U.S. Official Ratchets Down Expectations On Retaking Mosul,” by Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2016:
…Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee the situation in parts of Iraq is too unstable for the U.S. and Iraqi forces to conduct such a mission….
In January 2015, Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of the military’s Central Command, told The Wall Street Journal the U.S. and Iraq had begun preparations to retake Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities and one that is pivotal to controlling the country’s north, by that summer.
By the following month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon had begun to temper expectations, aiming to retake the city perhaps by the fall of 2015, because of concerns that the Iraqi army needed more training. The Pentagon wanted to weaken Islamic State’s grip on Mosul, perhaps by bombarding the area with airstrikes, before Iraqi ground forces went in….
Overall, he added, “Mosul will be a complex operation, and so I’m not as optimistic…It’s a large city. I’m not as optimistic that we’ll be able to turn that in the near term. In my view, certainly not this year.”This caution reflects in part an acknowledgment that Islamic State’s control over Mosul may not be as fragile as the U.S. military initially believed. In deferring a campaign to retake it, the Pentagon could be handing the military strategy off to the next White House.