Standing Up Against ISIS



Print page

President Obama encouraged Middle East allies on Monday December 14th to do more in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  This message was part of a growing frustration of the Western countries that Saudi Arabia and other allies in the region have yet to help the United States build up an Arab partnership of ground forces to push back the aggressive group in Syria.

The President is pursuing an overall strategy that draws on every form of American power. Here’s an up-to-date look at what we’re doing to fight the threat of terrorism abroad and here at home. Since the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, the United States, along with our 65 partners in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, have intensified our efforts to weaken and destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The Saudi Press Agency published what was described as a joint statement giving a little more information: 34 states have decided to form a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center in Riyadh. The 34 include most Arab League states, a number of mainly Muslim states mostly in Africa, and Asian countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia. More than 10 other Islamic countries, including Indonesia, are said to have expressed support. One notable inclusion in the list is Qatar, whose relations with Saudi Arabia have been strained. Notable omissions are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Oman and Eritrea.

Obama was speaking after meeting with his National Security Council at the Pentagon. It’s rare for Obama to meet with his top military officers and homeland security experts outside the White House Situation Room.  The session at the Defense Department was meant to convey the seriousness with which the President is approaching the military strategy in Iraq and Syria.

In order to stop terrorism on a global level we need a global effort.  It will take all levels of awareness from the average citizen to local government to international leadership.