At the meeting of the U.S. Coalition regarding the fight against ISIS, various foreign ministers noted that the fight against ISIS is not yet done. After hearing the remarks from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the foreign ministers released a statement of their position.
“We remain firmly united in our outrage at ISIS’s atrocities and in our determination to eliminate this global threat and overcome its false, destructive narrative. We reiterate our commitment to an integrated, multidimensional, and comprehensive approach to defeat ISIS and its global networks…We welcome the decisive milestones to date in reducing ISIS’ territorial control and degrading its leadership, access to resources, and global networks,” according to the released statement.
They also acknowledged that the progress to date has not been without cost. The ministers acknowledged the sacrifices of various partners, including Iraq and Syria, but also those in Libya, Afghanistan, Turkey and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East, as these are the countries that have been on the front lines of the fight.
In addition to acknowledging the efforts of their partners, the foreign ministers offered support for the vision of an ISIS-free Iraq, including efforts to enhance public services, reinforce inclusive governance, reduce corruption, decentralize certain federal authorities, and ensure equal rights for all Iraqis.
The reality of defeating ISIS is that resources will need to be activated to deal with rebuilding efforts and providing stabilization and public safety for liberated areas.
“Successful stabilization and long-term recovery will stem from good governance, the provision of services, and security arrangements that benefit all communities. We welcome the pledges by Coalition partners to assist with stabilization, demining, humanitarian and public safety requirements in liberated areas of Iraq and Syria,” according to the statement.
They also acknowledged that Coalition partners need to be ready to support efforts to promote community-level reconciliation and accountability, as well as support the development of Iraq’s comprehensive plan for stabilization in Mosul and the coordination of international support.
As part of the plan going forward, the ministers noted that efforts to confront ISIS on the digital battlefront, to reshape the public narrative around ISIS. This means continuing to collaborate on discrediting ISIS’ propaganda, but also focused on emphasizing credible, authentic voices that provide alternative narratives to challenge the ISIS world view.
There was also an acknowledgement that ISIS fighters could be a threat to their home countries and that issue must be addressed in a variety of ways, including reintegration efforts and rehabilitation, along with monitoring, investigation and prosecution.
The Coalition will have its next meeting of small working groups in July 2017.