Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who was appointed as the President’s special envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, spoke at a conference of Arab and Gulf allies in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Tuesday, to detail the US’ counter ISIS strategy. Allen said both the Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga are targeting ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, and over this last weekend the Lebanese military conducted raids against ISIS sympathizers in Lebanon. “Many of the countries here today are already playing a critical role in these military efforts, and the United States strongly welcomes your contributions,” Allen said. In addition to the physical space ISIS occupies and the military campaign against the militants, the financial space and the information space are of great concern and focus as well. Allies must work to target money and resources through targeted sanctions, stopping oil smuggling, and ending the group’s access to global finance. The third piece, the information campaign, is where working to “deny the legitimacy of [ISIS’] message,” will truly defeat the group, he added. Allen said meetings with the Arab League in Cairo several weeks ago discussed ways to strengthen moderate voices in the Arab world, and enlist prominent religious scholars to speak out against ISIS’ acts and organization.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.