President Donald Trump released two maps to his followers on Twitter Friday, noting the ground holdings of the ISIS caliphate as reduced to the vanishing point.
A story reported by Fox News, forwarded to Trump supporters by the Whitehouse also on Friday, declared that even that last pocket of resistance as captured, so all the ISIS banners are down.
According to Christian Action Network President Martin Mawyer, the news is good, but not all good, as the threat of ISIS looms in the shadows.
“I don’t want to be critical of our President in this,” Mawyer said. “He made a promise to go after ISIS, and he did just that. This is a success of the Trump Administration for sure.”
Mawyer turned his attention to one of the maps, to add, “but there are literal shadows to the story as it now exists in the areas where Trump’s map itself shows a ‘Residual ISIS Presence.’”
“Islamic jihad thrives on its ability to melt away and disappear into the shadows, to wait, even a generation if necessary, staying organized and ready to fight another day,” Mawyer said.
“We in the west are very fixated on territory and control, so in our minds if flags are down and territory is officially under our control we tend to think the battle won and it’s all over,” he added.
“That’s simply not the case, especially in the Middle East and especially with regards to the Islamic mentality of war, with generations of time in view. They’re patient enough to wait for us to let our guard down.”
According to Mawyer, the city of Mosul openly expresses an existential fright that ISIS will surge back and take control to the extent that it impacts the efforts to clean up and repair.
“There is corruption, work being paid for but not done, money leaving the area,” Mawyer said. “They can’t even tear down completely as promised the internationally infamous building that ISIS used to hurl homosexuals to their deaths.
There are too many instances where we have paid a price for letting things goMawyer
“That’s just one city where we have a glimpse because of international press paying attention,” Mawyer added. “I believe that is the typical situation across the entire region.
“ISIS left such a strong sense of terror, that they arguably continue to occupy the minds of the people far more than we do.”
Mawyer said that Christians and conservatives can and should impact the situation by asking that their representatives and the Trump Administration stay engaged in the situation there.
“We should keep some troops in the region and continue being a strategic lynchpin for vigilance against ISIS coming back,” Mawyer said.
“There are too many instances where we have paid a price for letting things go, then having a worse situation to deal with later at a much higher cost.”