Small Wars Journal

Dunford Warns Against Complacency in Fight Against Terrorism as ISIS’ Caliphate Disintegrates

Dunford Warns Against Complacency in Fight Against Terrorism as ISIS’ Caliphate Disintegrates by Corey Dickstein - Stars & Stripes

The U.S. military’s top general warned Tuesday that the international community must maintain its focus on the terrorism threat even as the Islamic State nears defeat on the battlefields of Syria and other security challenges rise around the world.

Despite the loss of land in recent years, ISIS and al-Qaida still have the ability and the desire to conduct and inspire terrorist attacks globally, said Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The threat of transnational terrorism is a generational problem that the United States and its allies remain years away from solving, he added.

“When the enemy holds ground like [ISIS] did in Iraq and Syria in 2014, they are a much more lethal threat than they are when they are running on a constant basis,” he told reporters Tuesday during a yearly meeting of top uniformed leaders from some 80 nations, dubbed the Countering Violent Extremist Organizations Chiefs of Defense Conference. “In that regard their lethality has been reduced, that doesn’t mean they are not dangerous.”

American leaders must work hand-in-hand with their allies to share intelligence, best practices and conduct counterterrorism operations to root out extremist groups throughout the world even as the number of headline-grabbing terrorist attacks has dropped in recent years, Dunford said…

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