Kerry, Hagel Discuss ISIL
Threat With Allies, Partners
By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – September 5, 2014 – With the NATO summit in Wales as the backdrop,
Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with
allies and partners today to discuss the threat posed to Iraq, the region and
the international community by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“We and the ministers agreed here today that there is no time
to waste in building a broad international coalition to degrade and, ultimately,
to destroy the threat posed by ISIL,” Kerry and Hagel said in a joint statement
issued after the meeting.
The formation of a new and inclusive government in Iraq will
be a critical step in this effort, they said. “We are hopeful that this process
can be completed over the coming days,” they added, “and we discussed in detail
how NATO allies can extend immediate support to a new government in its efforts
to unify the country against ISIL.”
Multiple lines of effort
To be effective, an international coalition to defeat ISIL
must coordinate across multiple lines of effort, the statement said. These
-- Military support to Iraqi partners;
-- Stopping the flow of foreign fighters;
-- Countering ISIL's financing and funding;
-- Addressing humanitarian crises; and
-- De-legitimizing ISIL's ideology.
“We discussed each of these lines of effort today, and how to
build on the contributions that many NATO allies and partners are already making
in Iraq,” the statement said. “We agreed to engage in an immediate conversation
with a new Iraqi government about accelerating these efforts, including the
potential for additional training and equipping of the Iraqi security forces at
the federal, regional and provincial level.”
The meeting also included discussion of further cooperation
to address the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and noted the shared effort by the
military forces of the United States, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom
to deliver humanitarian supplies to the citizens of Amerli in northern Iraq, the
“This town had been surrounded for two months by ISIL, but
today is receiving humanitarian aid and supplies led by a UN team on the ground,”
Kerry and Hagel said in their statement. “Such a common effort will be essential
as we move forward.”
Security Council resolution
The two Cabinet officials said that they and the ministers
noted the strong Chapter 7 United Nations Security Council Resolution enacted
last month that calls on all member states to take decisive action to stop the
flow of foreign fighters, counter ISIL's financing and combat its incitement.
“We agreed today that NATO allies in particular should work in concert towards
these goals,” they said.
Specifically, they added, a multinational task force will be
formed to share more information about the flow of foreign fighters into Syria
and from Syria into Iraq. “These foreign fighters represent an acute threat to
our NATO allies,” the statement said. “We also agreed to work in concert to
stifle ISIL's sources of revenue, including any trade in petroleum products, and
hold accountable those who violate international prohibitions on such trade.”
The secretaries noted that President Barack Obama has said
the effort to degrade and destroy the threat posed by ISIL will take time and
persistence. “It will also require a unified approach at the international,
regional and local level combining military, law enforcement, intelligence,
economic and diplomatic tools,” they added. “Our NATO allies and partners today
have confirmed their readiness to be a full part of this coordinated approach,
and over the coming days, we will continue the discussion with our partners in
the region, who have an important role to play across these lines of effort.”
The effort will be a focus of the U.N. General Assembly,
whose 69th session will convene Sept. 16 at U.N. Headquarters in New York, where
Kerry and Hagel said work would continue to establish a truly global coalition.
“Acting together, with clear objectives and common purpose,
we will degrade and destroy ISIL capabilities and ensure that it can no longer
threaten Iraq, the region, and the world,” they added.
NATO leaders weigh in
At the NATO summit this morning, Secretary General Anders
Fogh Rasmussen said the principal foundations of global security are being
challenged in a way the alliance has not seen since the end of the Cold War.
“In a dangerous world,” he added, “we must continue to
respond to these multiple challenges with unity and with strength. We must
ensure that NATO remains ready, able and willing to defend all Allies against
NATO will ensure it the right forces and equipment in the
right place for as long as required, the secretary general said.
In his remarks this morning, Prime Minister David Cameron of
the United Kingdom, which hosted the summit, also addressed new and evolving
“To the east, Russia is ripping up the rulebook with its
annexation of Crimea and its troops on sovereign soil in Ukraine. To the south,
an arc of instability bends from North Africa to the Middle East. Last night we
discussed the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq and Syria,” he said.
NATO members are united in their condemnation of what he
called barbaric and despicable acts, Cameron added.
“They should be very clear, these terrorists: their threats
will only harden our resolve to stand up for our values and to defeat them,” he
said. “To do so - and to deal with all the threats we face - our great alliance
must now evolve and refocus on the new capabilities that we need to keep our
One of the changes needed, he said, is for NATO to extend its
partnerships and build a more effective security network that fosters stability
around the world.
“To do this, NATO must become not just an organization that
has capability but an exporter of capability,” Cameron said. “I hope we can
agree to use our expertise to provide training and mentoring of forces in Jordan
and Georgia, and also in Iraq when the new government has been established.”
John F. Kerry
Special Report: Travels With Hagel
NATO Wales Summit 2014
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