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News | May 27, 2015

Special Presidential Envoy Delivers Keynote at INSS Conference on Countering ISIL

By Sam Marrero

General John Allen (USMC, Ret.), the Obama Administration’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition against ISIL, gave the keynote brief at the “Countering ISIS: Local and Regional Dynamics” one day conference at NDU’s Institute for National Strategic Studies on May 27, 2014.

Under General Allen, the global coalition has grown to more than 60 partner countries. Despite the recent fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, General Allen affirmed the international coalition remains committed.

General Allen reiterated the need to more forcefully implement UN Resolution 2178, which calls for the need to prevent the international flow of terrorist fighters to and from conflict zones. General Allen called blocking the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria a “generational struggle,” as more than 22,000 fighters have traveled to the region in the last year.

General Allen said one of the most crucial, and also most challenging, aspects of the coalition’s strategy is countering-messaging of ISIL’s appeal to sympathizers and recruits. Critical in this effort is that counter-message comes from key Muslim and Arab voices. The UAE, a coalition member, has recently erected a messaging center to do just that.