U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, alongside Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Don Bacon (R-NE), led a group of bipartisan members to introduce a resolution recognizing the critical contributions of counter-ISIS coalition partners, their value to countering current and future threats, and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to defeating ISIS.
As Counter-ISIS coalition members assemble today in Washington D.C. for an emergency ministerial to discuss the future of the Counter-ISIS mission, following President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria, the House resolution sends a signal of gratitude and support to counter-ISIS coalition partners and reaffirms Congressional commitment to global partnerships –– not only for the counter-ISIS fight –– but also to counter emerging and future threats.
Slotkin, a former CIA officer who served three tours in Iraq and served as a senior Pentagon official, helped to form the international Counter-ISIS coalition after the terrorist group took over large parts of Iraq in 2014. As an acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, Slotkin established and routinely convened counter-ISIS coalition defense policy coordination meetings. She also recently returned from a bipartisan Congressional delegation with the House Armed Services Committee to Turkey and Iraq, the first delegation to visit the region following President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, and Turkey’s subsequent advance into the region and attack on Kurdish forces.
“Five years ago, over 60 international partners joined the United States in common cause: denying ISIS its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria and preventing ISIS from threatening our citizens and countries,” Slotkin said. “The member nations of the Counter-ISIS coalition shook our hands in partnership and have fought alongside the United States since, on a shared objective: the enduring defeat of ISIS. I was proud to help build the Coalition in my prior role at the Pentagon.”
“Our coalition partners have brought critical tools to the Counter-ISIS fight, including providing battlefield intelligence, overhead imagery, air-to-air refueling, and training of partner forces on the front lines,” Slotkin said. “And for every Coalition soldier, sailor or airmen, there was one fewer American risking their lives in the fight. I am therefore proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution today, as Counter-ISIS coalition members are meeting in Washington, in recognition of the invaluable role that Coalition partners have played over the past five years — and to recognize that such partnerships will be critical in combatting threats into the future.”
This fall marks five years since the beginning of the counter-ISIS campaign and since Secretary Kerry convened the first Counter-ISIS ministerial with over 60 international partners. In March 2017, Secretary Tillerson convened the Counter-ISIS coalition to review the coalition strategy and affirm the United States’ and coalition members’ commitment to accelerating the Counter-ISIS campaign. Without a doubt, coalition partners have fulfilled critical requirements in the Counter-ISIS fight over the past five years of the campaign. The burden of fighting ISIS on and off the battlefield has been shared by partner nations who recognize the common nature of the threat. These partners remain critical to countering ISIS today, and importantly, to countering global threats in the future.
• Recognizes the commitment of partner nations and institutions that have participated in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS;
• Recognizes the many critical contributions that Global Coalition partners have made in support of our shared mission to defeat ISIS;
• Reaffirms the enduring commitment of the United States to the lasting defeat of ISIS;
• Recognizes that robust alliances and partnerships require many years to develop and, if neglected, may not be easily rebuilt in moments of crisis; and
• Affirms that robust alliances and partnerships will remain critical to defeating emerging and future threats.