WASHINGTON (February 11, 2016) — The first face-to-face meeting of defense ministers from
nations contributing to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant marks the beginning of a new stage in that campaign, Defense Secretary
Ash Carter said in Brussels today.
Speaking just before the meeting,
Carter said the fight to defeat ISIL is a matter of critical importance for all
and each contribution matters.
“Within this coalition and
ministerial today we are united by a common determination and responsibility to
ensure ISIL’s lasting defeat,” he said, adding, “ISIL must be defeated. It will
Carter described President Barack
Obama’s charge to U.S. forces to accelerate their efforts and U.S. leadership
in the campaign against ISIL.
“We’re looking for opportunities to
do even more,” the defense secretary said, “but the campaign will go even
faster if all of the nations in this room do more, too.”
Carter said he would present the
proposed coalition military campaign plan during the meeting and identify
specific requirements and capabilities, and then all would engage in a frank
discussion about those capabilities.
The Way Forward
He said the campaign plan outlines
the way forward, and the resources and the capabilities needed to hasten ISIL’s
“In Iraq and Syria it focuses
importantly on the two cities of Mosul and Raqqa, and recapturing them and
demonstrating to the people there and everywhere in the world that there cannot
be a state based upon the ideology of ISIL,” he said.
It also addresses ISIL’s spread to
other parts of the world and to the defense of the citizens in the homeland of
each coalition country, the defense secretary said.
“I welcome your insights and your
support on the campaign plan to ensure that we execute this plan effectively
and that we execute it with urgency,” Carter said.
After highlighting opportunities to
accelerate the fight and discussing needed capabilities, Carter said the
discussion should address how the coalition can meet specific and immediate
needs to accelerate the campaign and provide more effective support for
partners on the ground.
“In the coming weeks there will be
several opportunities to discuss and evaluate and make more specific your
contributions and how well we are implementing our renewed commitments,” he
By then, at the latest, the defense
secretary said, “we should begin to see tangible gains from those additional
capabilities, from the ones that the coalition is already bringing to bear.”
Carter said the meeting would end with a
discussion on countering ISIL’s movement to other countries, including Libya.