There are some 60 States in the American-led coalition pledged to degrading and destroying Islamic State, but only 21 regarded as “key members” were at the Conference in London on 22 January, which UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond described in these terms:
Today, 21 key members of the global coalition met in London to review and discuss our efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL not just through military force, but by addressing the underlying narrative of the organization, its financing, its flow of foreign fighters, and by reasserting our commitment to Iraq. In total, over 60 countries have signed up to the global coalition, showing the international will and commitment to combat this threat.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was at pains to clarify why the other 39 States had not joined the talk-fest:
And all the coalition partners are continuing to make vital contributions .., and we mean all 60. Whether it’s sheltering refugees, training, advising Iraqi troops on the front lines, or speaking out against Daesh’s [Islamic State – Ed] hateful, false ideology, we appreciate the contribution of every single member, each of whom has chosen one line of effort or another.
But we also recognize the need to, as effectively as possible, be able to coordinate all of these contributions. And that’s what the small group that came here today set out to do. The small group will continue to meet on a regular basis and continue, obviously, to consult with the full 60 members of the coalition, who will meet again as a full membership.
The non-participation of the world’s remaining 133 States in the American-led coalition did not escape Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s attention – as he wryly noted:
Daesh is a terrorist organization. It knows no race, no religion, no region. It spares nobody, so everybody must be facing Daesh.
Al-Abadi was therefore being more than a little cynical when he stated:
...that Iraq is not alone, the Iraqi people are not alone, but the entire world stands with Iraq.”
One can only ask why then are these 133 reluctant States not members of the American-led coalition? Are they prepared to let the other 60 States do the heavy lifting for them whilst they just sit by and watch? Will they only be motivated to join the American led coalition when Islamic State comes knocking at their door?
Pointedly the Joint Press Availability with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond and Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi - issued by the US State Department following the London Conference - made no mention of any discussion having taken place at the Conference concerning Yemen’s dramatic cave-in this week – resulting in the resignation of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after having being held captive following a concerted assault waged by Houthi rebels.
Yemen had been allowing the United States to wage counterterror drone strike operations targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen’s sovereign territory.
Membership of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State was respectively claimed by the perpetrators of two horrific massacres in Paris last week at the offices of publisher Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket - resulting in the murder of seventeen people whilst putting France on a state of highest alert to counter any further possible terrorist attacks in their wake.
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
10 posts so far.