Joint Staff Director
Joint Staff Director: Arab
Nations Bring Professionalism to ISIL Fight
By Jim Garamone, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – September 25, 2014 – Arab countries are bringing a great deal of
professionalism and pride to their activities over Iraq and Syria, the director
of the Joint Staff said here this week.
Speaking at an Air Force Association breakfast Sept. 23, Air
Force Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein said it is “very significant” that five Arab
countries joined the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
He noted that this wasn’t the first time Arab nations came forward. Qatar, the
United Arab Emirates and Jordan helped in air operations over Libya. Goldfein
previously served as commander of U.S. Central Command’s Air Force component.
The Arab nations fit right in with operations against ISIL,
he said. “I actually got to fly with each of the countries in the Gulf,” the
general said. “What I came away with is there may be no better example in how an
investment in building partner capacity has paid off.”
The Arab pilots were all graduates of the Gulf Air Warfare
Center sponsored by the United Arab Emirates. The facility is similar to the
U.S. Air Force’s Red Flag facility in Nevada, he said. When he flew in the back
seat of a Kuwaiti or Bahrani aircraft, Goldfein said, “I could have been in the
backseat of one of our best weapons instructors” at Nellis Air Force Base. “I
was watching the same quality of radar work, the same quality of communications,
the same quality of integration,” he added.
A force that has grown over time
This is a force that has grown over time, Goldfein said.
“And it has grown because we trained together at a level that
has paid off,” he said. “We often don’t connect those dots. There was a time
when it would have been very challenging to integrate them into any operation.”
The general said each nation can have a great deal of pride
in its participation. “From everything I’ve seen so far, this is a very
successful event,” he added.
Goldfein took exception to those who believe that there is a
gap between what military leaders recommend and what civilian leaders do. “This
is a really important ‘civ-mil’ moment this week,” he said.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that if the conditions on the
ground change, he may go to the president and “recommend to him that we
accompany the Iraqi forces,” Goldfein noted.
“That was played out over the course of the week as if there
was a big rift,” he said. “I would argue that that is exactly the way the
process ought to work. That’s the reason the president has senior military
commanders and a military advisor -- to give military advice. And [civilian
leaders] have every right not to take that advice, but they have to hear it. For
him to state that if the conditions change I may come to the president and make
this recommendation is exactly how the process should work.”
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
Air Force Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein
Special Report: Targeted Operations Against ISIL Terrorists in Iraq
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