ISIL is losing ground in their caliphate, with both American- and Russian-supported offensives in Syria, American/Coalition-led offensives in Iraq that have been prying areas from jihadi control, and Western-backed efforts in Libya where ISIL's hold around Sirte is also under pressure lately.
The Caliphate is having tough days, clearly.
Yet as tough as it is to dig out jihadi terrorists and end the support they get within Islam, it should be a fairly easy task to deprive a relatively small force of jihadi light infantry (20 or 25,000 across Syria and Iraq and several thousand more in Libya) backed by car bombs and mine fields of their control of actual territory.
The only delay should be in figuring out how to hit the jihadis with a maximum blow to kill as many as we can while they are concentrated before the survivors scatter to regroup as terrorists operating within friendly (or frightened) Moslem regions.
Given the weakness that ISIL has when facing our firepower that can devastate a light infantry force trying to hold terrain, I truly don't understand what is taking so long to smash up ISIL in Iraq unless we really are screwing up our training effort (which doesn't seem likely to me).
UPDATE: And note that we even got Turkey to downplay their opposition to the Kurds to focus on the helping anti-ISIL forces in Syria:
Turkey is in the midst of a major shift in its policy on Syria. Ankara has long opposed the Syrian Kurds because it sees them as affiliates of the Turkish Kurdish separatist movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). But now it has reached a compromise with Washington, in which it is willing to accept a role for the Democratic Party of Syria (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), in the fight against the Islamic State.
Ah, the fear of angering their old foe Russia and their main ally America did wonders, it seems, to adjust Turkish attitudes.
With all the forces arrayed against ISIL, you'd think we wouldn't let them hang around so long. No wonder the Arab world is rife with conspiracy theories that America created ISIL.
UPDATE: More on this theme. ISIL is losing ground:
And in Libya, too, as I noted, in the general retreat of ISIL:
In Libya, IS militants were fleeing their stronghold of Sirte as forces loyal to a U.N.-brokered government advanced, with some fighters reportedly cutting off beards and long hair to blend in with civilians.
The anti-IS offensives posed a significant challenge to the extremist group as it tries to stave off multiple attacks across parts of Syria and Iraq, where it declared a so-called caliphate in 2014, and in more recently seized territory in chaotic Libya.
So don't be shocked that ISIL (or IS, the Islamic State) morale is taking a hit:
IS, which is losing ground on several fronts in Syria and Iraq, is also battling to prevent some of the thousands of foreign volunteers who have joined its ranks since 2014 giving up the fight and going home.
"They sense that we have entered the final stage. Many are starting to send us messages to know how they can return," France's national intelligence coordinator, Didier Le Bret, told AFP.
"Expanding the glorious caliphate is no longer on the agenda and we know that some have been killed while trying to flee," he added.
I have been noting jihadi morale problem for a while now and wondering why we aren't hitting them harder to exploit this and defeat them on the ground with a little more sense of urgency.
UPDATE: More from Strategypage.Note especially that the "Syrian" offensive east toward Raqqa is only about half Syrian, with the rest Iranian-supported forces (Shia foreign legion or Hezbollah). Russia is supplying the logistics effort.
UPDATE: As long as our jihadi enemies remain undefeated on the field over there, followers will fight their jihad over here:
A gunman killed at least 20 people and injured 42 others in a gay nightclub in Florida early on Sunday before police shot him dead in what U.S. authorities described as a "terrorism incident."
A senior FBI official said there were suggestions that the gunman might have had leanings toward Islamic State militants but that this required further investigation.
Perhaps the suggestions of ISIL leanings are wrong in this case. But if not him, someone else will kill in the name of ISIL until we destroy this caliphate.
But no, really, take our time.