Carter Rallies Support for ISIS Fight

Defense Secretary Ash Carter spent much of the past week in the spotlight, pressing for the coalition to ramp up its fight against ISIS and trying to garner support for an operation that has been slowly advancing in the past year. “Our campaign to deliver ISIL a lasting defeat, at its source and wherever it rears its head, is far from over; but the outcome is clear,” Carter said in an op-ed published in Politico on Friday. “We will continue to adapt and build on our success as ISIL’s territory decreases, its resources dwindle, and local, capable forces gain the capacity both to win the field of battle and lay the foundation for lasting security in the region, and a more secure future for the world.” However, Carter noted during a Sunday appearance on CNN, “We are not looking to substitute for local forces in terms of governing.” Speaking during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland on Friday, Carter called on Turkey and several other countries to “do more” in the fight against ISIS. However, he also cautioned that once defeated, some of the group’s supporters will leave Iraq and Syria and go elsewhere, including to Europe and the United States. “Some of them will show up in Libya, and already are, and some of them will show up in our homelands,” Carter said. “So, we need to protect ourselves and we need to protect our people, and take that seriously.” The United States announced recently it will deploy 1,800 members of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to Iraq where it will train Iraqi troops for the fight against ISIS. It also will participate in an upcoming meeting of all 26 coalition countries to decide the way forward in the campaign.