Tags: Iraq | Gen. Allen | ISIS | defeat | unified | iraq | international

Gen. Allen.: ISIS Can Be Defeated by 'Sustained International Response'

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 09:52 PM

Defeating the Islamic State group (ISIS) will take a strong unity government in Iraq —  and a "sustained international response," according to retired Marine Gen. John Allen.

Writing an opinion piece for Defense News, the special presidential envoy to the global coalition against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIL, Allen said every time the coalition has coordinated air support with Iraqi forces on the ground, the militant jihadist group's momentum has been halted.

"[I]t is now constantly looking over its shoulder for the next attack," he writes, adding Iraq must continue its internal changes.

"Iraq's continued progress toward reform and inclusiveness will be imperative to the coalition's success," he writes, adding, however, "ISIL is not solely an Iraqi problem. Nor is it solely a Syrian problem. ISIL is an international problem and demands a sustained international response."

But, he writes, "we cannot hope to defeat ISIL through military action alone. Coalition partners are now in leading roles to stop the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, to limit ISIL's financing, and to defeat ISIL where it can do incredible harm: in the virtual space and marketplace of ideas."

Allen's warning comes, however, as Iraq's religious groups appear to remain heavily divided, The Hill reports.

Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently visited with the different factions, who urged the United States to provide more weapons directly to them rather than through the central government in Baghdad, The Hill reports.

As many as 32 members of Congress have endorsed a bill to provide weapons to the Kurdish peshmerga directly, The Hill reports, adding the United States and coalition advisers have already been providing limited training to the peshmerga.

Allen writes Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is taking steps toward government reform, and that in Syria, coalition airstrikes are "having an impact," debilitating ISIS's oil producing, processing and transportation infrastructure.

"This is an ambitious task and generational work," Allen writes. "But we take on this challenge with a growing and diverse coalition of partners."

"If we can remain united in this common effort both to defeat ISIL and to lay the foundations for a more stable Middle East, we will have left a legacy that is far more powerful than the defeat of one intolerant and nihilistic group of terrorists," he adds.

"We will have laid the foundation for a world that is more tolerant, more secure and more prosperous."

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Defeating the Islamic State group (ISIS) will take a strong unity government in Iraq - and a sustained international response, according to retired Marine Gen. John Allen. Writing an opinion piece for Defense News, the special presidential envoy to the global coalition...
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Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 09:52 PM
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