“The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIL, presents a unifying threat to a broad array of countries, including the United States. What’s needed to confront its nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a global coalition using political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force,” wrote Secretary of State John Kerry in a recent Opinion editorial.
“ISIL fighters have exhibited repulsive savagery and cruelty. Even as they butcher Shiite Muslims and Christians in their effort to touch off a broader ethnic and sectarian conflict, they pursue a calculated strategy of killing fellow Sunni Muslims to gain and hold territory.”
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama warns that “ISIL poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq and to people throughout the region.”
“And that’s why our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader, comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners who are taking the fight to ISIL.”
But no strategy will succeed without a unified, inclusive government in Iraq. With “an Iraqi government in place, the likelihood of the Iraqi security forces being more effective in taking the fight to ISIL significantly increases,” said President Obama.
“Any successful strategy, though, also needs strong regional partners.”
We are encouraged that countries in the region increasingly recognize the primacy of the threat that ISIL poses to all of them.
Secretary of State Kerry believes that in this endeavor, every country can help. “Some will provide military assistance, direct and indirect. Some will provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance for the millions who have been displaced and victimized across the region. Others will help restore not just shattered economies but broken trust among neighbors. This effort is underway in Iraq, where other countries have joined us in providing humanitarian aid, military assistance and support for an inclusive government.”
“Rooting out a cancer like ISIL will not be quick or easy,” said President Obama. “But I’m confident that we can -- and we will -- working closely with our allies and our partners."