Now this is a welcome return to what we voted for.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Defense Secretary James Mattis has announced a new shift in military strategy that will make a big difference toward the Trump Administration’s long-term goal of “annihilating” the Islamic State terror group.

The new tactics will see US-led coalition forces surround enemy fighters’ locations prior to engaging with them, cutting off the jihadists’ hopes of escaping.

“By taking the time to de-conflict, to surround, and then attack, we carry-out the annihilation campaign so we don’t simply transplant this problem from one location to another,” Mattis said during a Pentagon briefing […]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria has also drastically dropped. The Pentagon estimated that in 2015 there were 1,500 foreign fighters arriving in Iraq and Syria each month. Dunford said that number is now down to less than 100 per month.

This positive development is yet another outcome of one of President Donald Trump’s most important decisions as commander-in-chief: giving military commanders on the ground greater discretion to exercise their best tactical judgment in real-time, rather than having their hands tied and their actions delayed by constant micromanaging from the White House.

Mattis said of the new freedom, “no longer will we have slowed decision cycles because Washington, D.C., has to authorize tactical movements on the ground.”

This newfound autonomy was also the reason for the much-discussed MOAB strike on a terrorist tunnel system in Afghanistan last month; the decision to drop the “mother of all bombs” was made by Gen. John Nicholson without Oval Office permission.

Whatever else happens for the remainder of Trump’s first term, thank God we have serious people defending the country again.