The Pentagon’s anticipated review of ways to defeat ISIS will not solely focus on military actions, but will also call for political changes to ensure the group does not regain power in the region, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said Thursday. The plan, laid out in a Jan. 28 memorandum to Defense Secretary James Mattis, must move beyond additional military activities and will focus on diplomatic efforts necessary to completely address the “transregional” threat posed by ISIS, which is a global problem. ISIS fighters are coming to Iraq and Syria from more than 100 countries, and the group has a global flow of resources. Local forces, with the help of the US-led international coalition, need to “cut the connective tissue” connecting ISIS to other nations and “drive the threat down to the level that local law enforcement” can handle it, Dunford said. Dunford’s comments came as Iraqi forces pushed intensely into ISIS-held western Mosul, retaking the city’s airport as they face car bombs and explosives dropped by drones, CNN reported.
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.