US Fight to Neutralize Daesh’s ‘Covert’ Insurgency to Take Years – DoD Report

The total defeat of the Daesh terrorist group may take several more years, the US Defense Department’s inspector general said in a review published Monday.

While Daesh’s land holdings have dwindled, a “reduced, covert version” of the group remains active in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen, the inspector general noted, as reported by the Washington Times.

Daesh has lost “all territory held in Iraq” and retained control of just 1 percent of the territory it formerly held in Syria, the Pentagon’s in-house watchdog said in an announcement November 5. However, the terror group has evolved its tactics from holding territory to operating clandestine cells spanning the globe, according to the report, which means that the effort to achieve the “enduring defeat” of the terrorists will take more time.

The report states there are “significant challenges to developing capable and self-sufficient security forces in Iraq and Syria, and questions remain about the length of time it will take to train forces capable of preventing” a resurgence from Daesh.

Furthermore, “there are also significant challenges to US efforts to address non-military issues, such as the promotion of democratic governance and civil society and the stabilization of liberated areas. These issues can also affect the ability of the security forces to defeat [Daesh],” according to the inspector general.

The inspector general said that “political uncertainty” in Iraq and…

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