Global Efforts to Defeat ISIS, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, June 28, 2016   [open pdf - 2MB]

This testimony compilation is from the June 28, 2016 hearing "Global Efforts to Defeat ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria]," before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the opening statement of Brett McGurk: "The fight against ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is an unprecedented challenge. More than 40,000 foreign fighters have flowed into Syria over the past five years, swelling the ranks of violent extremist organizations, the most significant of which is ISIL. ISIL is determined to establish a state in Iraq and Syria, and instill terror around the world as part of a perverse agenda, whereby, according to their own ideology, anyone who disagrees with them should die. We have no choice but to defeat ISIL by taking away its territory in Iraq and Syria, severing its global networks, and suffocating its global affiliates. I will describe today the progress we are making in all of these areas, but this progress does not discount the significant threat that remains, and will remain, for years to come. [...] We analyze the ISIL challenge in three dimensions: the core in Iraq and Syria (its phony self-proclaimed 'caliphate'); the global networks (foreign fighter, financial, and messaging networks); and the global affiliates (eight in all, with some far more serious than others). Any successful campaign must address all three, and our global effort, anchored by a coalition of 66 partners, is designed to do just that. At the same time, the ISIL core remains its center of gravity, allowing ISIL to extract resources, recruit, and plan sophisticated external terrorist attacks, as we have seen in Paris and Brussels. Thus, we are focused first and foremost on shrinking the core, uprooting ISIL from the cities, towns, and villages under its control, and destroying its underlying infrastructure, including the human capital of its leaders, now being eliminated one-by-one." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Brett McGurk.

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