Wednesday, September 30th 2015
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth gave testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services on “U.S. Military Operations to Counter the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” on September 16, 2015. Here are excerpts:
Over a year ago the President outlined a whole of government strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, and he emphasized it would be a multi-year campaign. Secretary Carter outlined the nine lines of effort that comprise our strategy in detail for you in July, so I won’t go over them again except to emphasize that it will take more than just the military campaign to be successful. We also will need to dry up ISIL’s finances, stop the flows of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria in particular, protect the United States from potential ISIL attacks, provide humanitarian assistance to rebuild areas cleared of ISIL forces, and find ways to more effectively counter ISIL’s very successful messaging campaign.
As Secretary Carter told this committee in July, the Administration believes it has the right strategy in place. We are now focused on ways to improve the implementation of the strategy – this means constantly evaluating our approach and adapting it as conditions evolve, opportunities arise, and challenges emerge. This is truly an interagency effort, with increasingly better synchronization across departments and agencies to improve the execution of the strategy. Secretary Carter and Secretary Kerry have been regularly reviewing the implementation of the counter-ISIL campaign, including a meeting tomorrow with NCTC on foreign fighters.