Acting Secretary Shanahan Remarks D-ISIS Press Statement
Thank you, Minister von der Leyen. I appreciate Germany’s warm hospitality. It has been a pleasure to join our fellow defense ministers in today’s discussions.
Today, we built on the progress made during our nations’ last restricted D-ISIS Defense Ministerial in December. We reiterated our Coalition’s united purpose, and I made clear the United States remains steadfast in our support for the Coalition and its guiding principles.
As a 79-member team, our Coalition has taken a strong, united stand against the ISIS threat globally, with a particular emphasis on Iraq and Syria. The United States appreciates every Coalition members’ unique contributions to our collective D-ISIS efforts.
Together, we have eliminated the group’s hold over 99% of the territory it once claimed as part of its so-called caliphate. We have ensured ISIS no longer holds the innocent people of Syria or Iraq in its murderous iron fist.
We have destroyed its ability to mass forces, and we have eliminated most of its leadership and significantly diminished its resources.
While the time for U.S. troops on the ground in northeast Syria winds down, the United States remains committed to our Coalition’s cause, the permanent defeat of ISIS, both in the Middle East and beyond.
As we make this tactical change, we will remain a stabilizing force for peace in the Middle East, alongside our many Allies and partners.
We will maintain our counterterrorism capabilities in the region.
And we will continue to support our local partners’ ability to stand up to the remnants of ISIS.
Today, my fellow ministers and I took steps to not only solidify our progress in the Middle East, but to look beyond it.
We discussed what the future of our Coalition looks like. I, for one, envision an even bigger and stronger Coalition going forward – one that has evolved to meet the global threat posed by ISIS’s offshoots and its murderous ideology; a Coalition that is utilizing the most effective collective capabilities to thwart ISIS’s malign influence and activities in places like Afghanistan, the Philippines, the Sahel, the Sulu Sea, and beyond.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to permanently defeating ISIS’s influence across the globe.
Our Coalition is assessing the threat in each region and what is required from us to meet those threats.
We view our next steps through a whole-of-government lens, ensuring we will apply the right set of tools to address each situation.
We and our enemies must not forget just how large our Coalition’s collective toolbox is, encompassing not only military means, but also diplomatic, economic, law enforcement, and other means for bringing long-term stability to vulnerable regions.
I look forward to continuing these vital discussions with my colleagues. Even more so, I look forward to working together to put thoughts and plans into concrete action, with each Coalition member bringing their unique capabilities and capacity to the table.
I leave today’s meeting confident that our Coalition remains the most relevant and sustainable team for realizing the permanent global defeat of ISIS.