Degrade and Destroy: An Interview with Michael Gordon
Michael Gordon is the author of Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. He is currently a National Security Correspondent with The Wall Street Journal. He has covered wars and conflicts for over 35 years with The Wall Street Journal and previously with The New York Times.
In this interview, we discus the last decade of conflict against the Islamic State in which the United States applied a “by, with and through” strategy. This strategy supported Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces with U.S. advisors in the field as well as multiple intelligence and air assets. Topics covered include the following:
- The conditions that allowed ISIS to capture territory in Iraq and Syria
- The capture of Mosul followed by the U.S. developing a strategy to respond
- The “By, With and Through” strategy that the U.S. employed based on a Special Forces concept to back local forces in the field of combat
- Where the term “Degrade and Destroy” came from and the strategic implications of how it shaped into “Operation Inherent Resolve”. Link to Degrade and Destroy speech.
- Michael discusses his frontline view of the conflict while embedded with Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service (CTS) and Kurdish Peshmerga forces
- The early struggle to take back Mosul and how it led to Lieutenant General Townsend’s “Tactical Directive One”
- The difference between the Battle of Mosul and the Battle of Raqqa
- How the U.S. and Russia faced off in Syria
- The current state of “Operation Inherent Resolve” and the current disposition of the Islamic State
- Lessons learned from “Operation Inherent Resolve”
Michael Gordon Bibliography:
Article: “How the War Against ISIS Was Won”
Follow and contact Michael Gordon:
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