United States Strategy to Defeat The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Hearing Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, One Hundred and Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, September 17, 2014   [open pdf - 561KB]

This is the September 17, 2014 hearing testimony on 'United States Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.' The following is taken from the opening statement of John F. Kerry: "During the years I had the privilege of serving here, working with different Administrations, it always struck me that American foreign policy works best when there's a genuine discussion, a dialogue, a vetting of ideas back and forth between Congress and the executive branch. So I want to make sure that by the time we're done here today, I've heard from you, you've shared your views and ideas, and that you also have a clear understanding of what we've done so far, what we're doing now, and where we go next -- because your input and your support are absolutely critical to the success of this effort. […] Early this summer, the ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] threat accelerated when it effectively erased the Iraq-Syria border and the Mosul Dam fell. The President acted deliberately and decisively. We further surged our ISR missions over Iraq. We immediately set up joint operation centers in Baghdad and Erbil. And our special forces conducted a very detailed field assessment of Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish forces. […] The fact is that, if we do this right, then this effort could become a global model for isolating and undermining other extremist threats around the world. But now we must be laser focused on ISIL. And I'm confident that, with our strategy in place and our international partners by our side, we will have all that we need to succeed in degrading and ultimately destroying this monstrous organization -- wherever it exists." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: John F. Kerry, Robert S. Ford, and Ben Connable.

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