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ISIS Has 9,000 ‘Core Fighters.’ Or Maybe 17,000. Or Possibly 30,000.

Another day, another American estimate of ISIS’s strength that’s vastly different from the last guess. How many fighters are the U.S. and its allies combatting in its new war against ISIS? American military and intelligence leaders have only the vaguest of notions. Estimates of ISIS’s strength from these leaders have varied wildly, and now the military commander in charge of degrading and destroying the extremist group says it could be as low as just 9,000 “core fighters.” Gen. Lloyd Austin’s estimates of ISIL’s numbers ranged from a low of 9,000 to a high of…