The Iraqi military, with the help of the US-led coalition, could recapture the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, but the American military should stay to continue the fight and help hold the areas retaken, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. The city, Iraq’s second largest behind Baghdad, could be retaken by the time President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month, Carter said, according to the Associated Press. There will be much for the Iraqi military and US supporters to do after Mosul falls to make sure ISIS “stays defeated,” he said. We’ll need to continue to counter foreign fighters trying to escape and ISIL’s attempts to relocate or reinvent itself,” he said, according to the AP. “To do so, not only the United States but our coalition must endure and remain engaged militarily.” Specifically US and coalition help is needed to train and equip police and border guards to hold the territory, said Carter. (See also: Mosul, Raqqa Not the End of ISIS.)
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.