For more than a year, this great team, U.S. Central Command, has led
the Coalition effort to counter and militarily defeat the terrorist
organization, ISIL. It represents a herculean undertaking; and, is of
utmost importance given the very real threat that ISIL poses to stability
and security in the Central Region, the U.S. homeland, and beyond. We must
defeat this enemy; and, together alongside our Coalition partners, we will
defeat this enemy.
This fight will take time. This is a long-term campaign. The
security environment in Iraq and Syria is incredibly complex, and there are
many different elements operating across the battlespace. Key to lasting
success is sustained pressure on ISIL, both from the air and on the ground;
and, employing indigenous forces to help create and sustain that pressure,
while also curbing the flow of foreign fighters and cutting off the enemy's
ability to resource himself. We are doing these things and your efforts and
those of our Coalition partners are making a real difference. But, again,
this campaign will take time and strategic patience.
In the interim, this command is also focused on a host of other
challenges present throughout our area of responsibility. Among them, we
remain decisively engaged in operations in Afghanistan in support of that
country's national security forces. We are providing logistics and
intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. We recently
increased our force protection for U.S. personnel assigned to the
Multinational Force of Observers in the Sinai in Egypt. We maintain a close
eye on Iran and stand ready to respond to Iranian malign activity in the
region. At the same time, we continue to pursue the many opportunities that
exist across our 20-country AOR with the goal to move the region in the
direction of greater stability and security.
Our mission is a very demanding one, and, going forward, we must be
ready to respond to unforeseen events and contingencies that will require us
to make adjustments and apply lessons learned. As you have clearly
demonstrated, agility and the ability to innovate remain keys to success.
I want to thank all of you - and your families - for your hard work
and continued commitment to our mission and the tasks before us. You should
know that I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you and proud of
this outstanding team. You are the best in the world at what you do, and
through your singular and collective efforts you are making an important
Keep up the great work!
PDF of Commander's letter