Inside the Counter ISIS Coalition

Military leaders from the US and 21 partner countries met at JB Andrews, Md., on Tuesday in an effort to integrate air and ground military efforts against ISIS terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria. The leaders also looked to achieve a consensus on the nature of the threat posed to the region, a Joint Staff military official indicated in a background briefing. The attendees at the meeting acknowledged ISIS terrorists have “tactical momentum on several fronts,” but the coalition also has strategic momentum and is building consensus. ISIS has proved to be an adaptive enemy, attendees observed, and have proved effective in exploiting information operations and social media to spread propaganda. “We must be more effective in using these avenues to communicate facts and create awareness of (ISIS’) activities and atrocities,” the official said. The Arab members of the coalition, in particular, understand this “and are taking action.” The chiefs of defense agreed to recommend to their governments to continue to take action against ISIS and to contribute military capabilities “best suited to each nation,” by building on the success achieved both on the ground and in the air.