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US-Gulf Council to Fight Terrorism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford during a press conference in the Pentagon.

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford during a press conference in the Pentagon on Friday

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford during a press conference in the Pentagon on Friday

Washington, Riyadh- US Secretary of Defense announced in a press conference in the Pentagon that he and his Saudi counterpart, Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman, agreed to convene a U.S.-Gulf Cooperation defense ministerial on April 20 in Riyadh ahead of President Barack Obama’s participation in the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council leaders’ summit there the next day.

“This will be an important forum to build on our counter-ISIS defense ministerial in Brussels last month,” Carter said.

The meeting also will strengthen US-GCC defense partnerships by allowing participants to review and discuss the way ahead for joint regional defense initiatives that all committed to during the 2015 US-GCC Camp David Summit last May, the secretary added.

For his part, Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained during the same press conference that recommendations on ways to increase US support for Iraq’s ground fight against ISIS are going to be discussed with President Barack Obama soon.

“The secretary and I both believe that there will be an increase in US forces in Iraq in coming weeks, but that decision hasn’t been made,” Dunford told Pentagon reporters during a briefing. He did not say how big that increase might be.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

They affirmed the importance of the US-Saudi defense relationship and discussed the security environment in the Middle East in order find ways to work together to strengthen cooperation on counterterrorism efforts.

They also discussed expanding areas of coordination between USA, the Kingdom and the Gulf states regarding the regional, international and military issues, in addition to enhancing the chances of stability in the region; including joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, Iran’s role in the region, as well as coordinating US- Gulf efforts to counter extremism which is supported by some countries.

The Secretary welcomed Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the counter ISIS coalition campaign.

The US reiterated its willingness to work with GCC states in order to promote stability in the Middle East. The Secretary and the Deputy Crown Prince agreed on the need to stay in close communication in the coming days.

In a statement, Pentagon’s Press Secretary, Peter Cook, confirmed that the phone call focused on defense relationship between the two countries.

In a common matter, William Inboden, the Executive Director IN Clements Center for National Security & Associate Professor of Public Affairs called, in his latest piece, for a new offensive strategy against ISIS, writing that “the attack highlights an uncomfortable truth: The American and European approach to combatting ISIS is not succeeding.”

He continued “our current strategy is largely defensive, consisting of massive surveillance efforts to detect and disrupt plots in the United States and Europe, and a narrowly tailored military campaign in Iraq of limited bombing runs and a small number of special operations forces under tight restrictions.”

“A new strategy would recognize that ISIS is a global threat that has now directed or inspired terrorist attacks on five continents,” he added.

Inboden called for “a new strategy that would entail a significantly escalated military campaign, including a substantial increase in special operations forces and joint tactical air controllers on the ground to better identify bombing targets, kill or capture fighters, and help train and embolden local forces such as the Kurds, Iraqi army and others.”

He also wrote that “winning the war against ISIS means winning the battle of ideas against jihadist ideology. For every fighter we kill or capture, more are being created through the radicalization process driven by social media. Our best allies in this struggle are peaceful Muslims who reject violent jihadism. We need to support them in their efforts to delegitimize jihadist ideology and curtail recruitment of new jihadists.”