>> As U.S. President Donald Trump, sets off for The Middle East, The Pentagon on Friday unveiling a new tactic in the fight against Islamic state militants. Defense secretary, James Mattis, saying coalition forces and local allies would now focus on encircling ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria, hoping to isolate fighters in cities and towns.
>> By taking the time up front to surround these locations instead of simply shoving them from one to another and, actually, reinforcing them as they fall back. Based on the recommendation we made, and the direction that President Trump took, we now take the time to surround them. And why do we do it?
Because the foreign fighters are the strategic threat. Should they return home to Tunis, to Kuala Lumpur, to Paris, to Detroit, wherever, those foreign fighters are a threat.>> Brett McGurk, with the state department, saying the administration was also working on a policy of what it called stabilization for areas liberated from ISIS.
>> Stabilization is not nation building. We're not attempting to dictate political outcomes. Nor is it long-term reconstruction. Instead, stabilization is a low cost sustainable citizen driven effort to identify the key projects that are essential to returning people to their homes. Such as water pumps, electricity nodes, grain silos, and local security structures, local police.
>> The U.S. defence chief saying he had yet to offer a recommendation to Trump over troop levels in Afghanistan. Reuters in April reporting the administration was weighing deploying 3 to 5,000 more soldiers to that region. Mattis saying he would make his recommendation to the president soon.