The battlefield looks markedly different than when the global coalition to defeat ISIS was formed in 2014, and the 68 countries and institutions that comprise the alliance are going to have to look forward as the Islamic State transforms from the Syria-Iraq territorial behemoth slowly withering today.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host the Global Coalition Against Daesh in Washington on March 22, a meeting that spokesman Mark Toner said will allow President Trump’s top envoy to “express his full support” for the coalition’s mission and discuss “how to thwart foreign terrorist fighters, counterterrorist financing, stabilization of liberated areas, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
Leaders will make determined statements, shake hands and smile for the cameras. But substance will be key as they must predict what ISIS will become after the fall of Mosul and their capital in Syria, Raqqa.
The anti-ISIS coalition also needs to keep Russia and Iran among the uninvited. If Iran was into fighting terrorism, they wouldn’t be harboring al-Qaeda. If Russia was into fighting ISIS, they would have been doing it already instead of striking the foes of their ally Bashar al-Assad.