On May 8, the Pentagon announced that Abu Wahib was killed by a coalition airstrike in Rutba, Anbar Province, Iraq—the latest of several top-level ISIS officials to meet his end over the past two months, as the Obama administration has steadily ratcheted up its war on the Islamic State not only in Iraq and Syria, but elsewhere in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, and Africa. Omar-al-Shishani, believed to be the chief ISIS minister of war, was killed in an airstrike in early March, while Haji Iman, the leading ISIS minister of finance and reputed first lieutenant of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, lost his life in a Special Forces commando raid intended to bring about his capture sometime around March 20.

To a degree unprecedented in American military history, the war against ISIS is a conflict spearheaded and orchestrated by the commandos, trainers, and advisers of the elite U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). And the conflict against ISIS is only the headline-grabber in a much broader, underneath-the-radar struggle being waged by America’s shadow warriors to combat instability and looming crisis wherever American vital interests are at stake.

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Image courtesy of the US Marine Corps