Forum 2015 Session 3: Winning the war against ISIS: Visions and Strategies

Date: 4th November, 2015
Venue: Rotana

  • Athanasios Manis, Research Fellow, MERI  (Chair)
  • Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister, KRG
  • Stuart Jones, United States Ambassador to Iraq
  • David Pollock, Washington Institute, USA
  • Sherwan Al-Waili, Security Advisor to the President of Iraq

The war against ISIS has proven to be protracted in Iraq despite previous reassurances to the contrary. The militant group still controls large swathes of land, including important urban centres such as Mosul, Falluja and Ramadi.

I fear there is an imbalance between the military and the political aspect in combating ISIS

Qubad Talabani

Despite military efforts of the international community, the Iraqi Army, and Peshmerga forces, ISIS has managed to entrench its positions, making a full defeat seemingly less likely.

There is too much red-tape, bureaucracy in the way of supplying troops with weapons

David Pollock

This panel then will focus on defining what ‘winning’ against ISIS will look like given the current context, and addressing challenges and prospects for ending the conflict in the short- and medium-term. Among other issues of the war effort, the panellists will touch upon the effectiveness of international coalition airstrikes, the train and equip effort for the Iraqi Army, and the role of Hashd al Shabi, Shia militias and the Peshmerga in efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS.

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