US convenes world military leaders to discuss ISIS strategy

Military chiefs convene near Washington, D.C. for counter-extremism conference.
Photo credit: Kristina Wong / The Hill
Military chiefs convene near Washington, D.C. for counter-extremism conference.

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. — The nation’s top military officer, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, on Monday convened military chiefs from nearly 50 countries for a conference on dealing with the aftereffects of defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

During the conference’s opening remarks, Dunford told the visiting military chiefs that he expected to see success in the “next coming months” in Mosul and Raqqa — ISIS’s proclaimed capitals in Iraq and Syria, respectively. 

{mosads}The conference began just a day after the Iraqi government launched the Mosul offensive, which is aimed at taking back Iraq’s second largest city from ISIS. 

Military leaders need to think about the “second and third order effects” of defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria and “where we will see the challenges,” Dunford said. 

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said after his opening remarks that military chiefs would provide briefs on their counterterrorism efforts in order to better enhance transregional cooperation and a common understanding of transregional terrorist threats. 

“One region affects other regions,” Dunford said.  

Although law enforcement would play a key role in combating terrorism, Dunford said, “the military-to-military foundation … can help inform that broader effort of counterextremism.”   

“We’re going to go straight to work,” Dunford could be heard saying, leading defense chiefs into a conference room after a group photo. 

The meeting is slated to last until 8 p.m. 

Countries in attendance included, in the order of arrival: Mauritania, the Netherlands, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Czech Republic, Mali, Jordan, Denmark, Germany, Qatar, the United Kingdom, Latvia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Estonia, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Kuwait, Croatia, Canada, Singapore, Slovenia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Australia, Finland, Portugal, Italy, France, the United Arab Emirates, Lithuania, Greece and Turkey. 

The U.S. commanders of Africa Command, Central Command, European Command, Pacific Command, Northern Command and Southern Command and Special Operations Command were also in attendance.  

Centcom commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel briefed the military chiefs on progress on the Mosul offensive. 


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