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John Allen: Coalition Fighting Islamic State Must Consider Physical, Info, Financial Spheres

Gen. John Allen
Gen. John Allen

Gen. John Allen, special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter the Islamic State group, has outlined the coalition’s focus on establishing clarity across several so-called “lines of effort” to defeat IS.

In an interview posted Wednesday on the State Department website, the retired U.S. Marine Corps general told Elise Labott of CNN about the need to consider the physical, information and financial spheres as he leads a coalition of nations across different backgrounds to achieve mission success.

He noted that beyond the military aspect, the coalition also works to defeat or suppress the flow of foreign fighters to the group, their message propagation, revenue generation and other illicit activities, as well as to de-legitimize the group and provide humanitarian help to the rest of the population post-IS.

Allen also indicated plans to train and advise Iraqi Security Forces as potential partners, as well as work with opposition elements and other local ground forces in Syria, to build force capability in the long term.

However, he also highlighted the vetting process as they provide training resources and weapons to these forces to ensure that they do not eventually become groups like IS and the al-Qaeda.

The endgame for the coalition, he said, is focused on establishing sovereignty in government, political unification as well as military capability to defend themselves against al-Qaeda-like organizations.

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