On 11 February 2016, the defense ministers of 28 nations met in Brussels
to talk about the Coalition to defeat ISIL.
The following Statement was issued at that meeting.
The Pentagon press office distributed the Statement via e-mail to journalists,
but did not post the Statement at the Pentagon website.
When I was unable to find a full-text copy of the Statement on the Internet,
I contacted the Pentagon press office and they kindly sent me the
full-text of the Statement.
I added paragraph numbers to allow precise citations.
11 Feb 2016
[¶ 1] Today [11 Feb 2016] in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
hosted a meeting of
defense ministers from countries contributing troops to the Global Coalition
to Counter-ISIL/Da’esh to discuss the military campaign plan, to take stock
of recent efforts to accelerate the Counter-ISIL/Da’esh operation in Iraq
and Syria, to consider a shared approach against ISIL/Da’esh’s global
ambitions, and to ensure the protection of our citizens. We paid tribute to
the efforts of all Iraqi Security Forces, including the Peshmerga and Sunni
tribal forces, and moderate Syrian opposition forces who are fighting
ISIL/Da’esh and have caused numerous tactical defeats of ISIL/Da’esh in
recent months, and we acknowledged the Coalition Force Commander’s
assessment that these successes mark the transition of the
Counter-ISIL/Da’esh campaign. However, we also acknowledged that
significant work remains to be done to ensure the lasting defeat of
ISIL/Da’esh and the restoration of stability in Iraq and Syria. We called
on those states playing a counterproductive role in the fight against
ISIL/Da’esh and the Syrian peace process to play a more constructive role.
Global Coalition to Counter-ISIL
Defense Ministerial Meeting in Brussels
[¶ 2] Ministers provided broad support for the objectives of the
Counter-ISIL/Da’esh Campaign Plan and reaffirmed our governments’
unwavering commitment to work together against ISIL/Da’esh. We also agreed,
as a matter of urgency, to accelerate and intensify the campaign, in order
to deliver a lasting defeat to this barbaric organization as quickly as
possible. We also recognized that recent battlefield successes provide an
opportunity to gather additional momentum in our campaign as we enter the
next phase of dismantling ISIL/Da’esh’s operating capability throughout Iraq
and Syria. To that end, coalition members highlighted the importance of
turning ISIL/Da’esh’s purported strengths into its greatest weaknesses.
Coalition members underlined the importance of collapsing its two power
centers in Raqqah and Mosul and continuing to target its underlying
infrastructure, including its financial capability.
[¶ 3] We took note of the substantial resources provided by coalition members that
have enabled progress in the military campaign, and thanked those nations
that have, from the start of the campaign, demonstrated leadership and
support. We also welcomed the many countries that have increased their
contributions since the horrific attacks in Paris, Turkey, and other
locations since the last quarter of 2015. Ministers recognized the nations
that have either joined the air campaign, increased commitments or extended
operations to Syria and those that committed to restart flights in the near
future. Ministers also noted that nations have committed additional
trainers, Special Operations Forces, personnel recovery assets, and
additional material support. Ministers further noted that other nations
were embarking on national conversations to increase in one or more of these
categories, including additional police trainers to expand the current
police training effort led by Italy.
[¶ 4] In addition to what has been provided, we agreed on an enduring set of
requirements that will be needed to expand efforts against ISIL/Da’esh —
and welcomed the Coalition Chiefs’ of Defense Conference and the Coalition
Force Generation Conference taking place in the next four weeks where these
requirements will be explored in detail. As part of that discussion, we
agreed to review regularly the coalition’s campaign plan and the progress in
its implementation. To that end, ministers agreed to meet again before the
end of the year.
[¶ 5] We acknowledged that while the military campaign is an essential part of our
overall effort to defeat and destroy ISIL/Da’esh, on its own is insufficient
to ensure lasting success. We are committed to ensuring the coherence of our
military actions with the comprehensive activities in the non-military lines
of effort to set the conditions for sustainable political stability in the
[¶ 6] We thank all of our partners who are helping us advance the military
campaign against ISIL/Da’esh and its economic and industrial infrastructure.
We recognize in particular the heroism, dedication, and steadfastness of all
Iraqi Security Forces, including the Peshmerga and Sunni tribal forces, and
moderate Syrian opposition forces who are fighting ISIL/Da’esh. We also
thank the men and women deployed with coalition forces who are playing their
part to degrade and defeat ISIL/Da’esh. We encourage others to contribute
and join us in this noble effort.
This document is at
created 24 February 2016
list of Standler’s essays on Syria
and links to historical documents.