A bipartisan new report recommends scaled-up U.S. military support for the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“We strongly believe that there is no alternative but to deny ISIS a safe sanctuary from which to operate. It is imperative, therefore, that the international effort against ISIS is scaled up substantially,” said the report, published Monday by the Center of a New American Security (CNAS), a think tank in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. should be prepared to lead such a strengthened military effort and provide more special operations forces, said the report, which was endorsed by a bipartisan group of seven former senior administration officials.
“The United States should show a new resolve by increasing significantly its military contribution across the board, including providing more unique air assets, additional intelligence assets and a larger contingent of special operation forces capable of identifying and destroying high value and other critical ISIS targets,” the report said.
The report was endorsed by, among others, Michèle Flournoy, an informal adviser to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPro-Clinton Super-PAC launches 2 ads against Trump Overnight Healthcare: Zika fight enters new phase Democrats’ promises same as past utopian efforts — they will fail MORE.
Flournoy, a former undersecretary of Defense for policy and co-founder and chief executive officer of CNAS, is speculated to be a candidate for a Cabinet-level position such as Defense secretary in a Clinton administration.
The report also recommends more support to anti-regime rebels in Syria, including implementing a no-fly zone in Syria — an option supported by Clinton.
“The United States, together with France and other allies, must employ the necessary military power, including an appropriately designed no-fly zone, to create a safe space in which Syrians can relocate without fear of being killed by Assad’s forces and where moderate opposition militias can arm, train, and organize,” the report said.
“The United States can spearhead the necessary assistance and protection for this safe space in much the same way that it did for the Kurds in Northern Iraq after the first Gulf War,” it continued.
The report is a result of six dinner discussions led by 19 foreign policy experts and former officials convened by CNAS.
The other six endorsers of the report are Kurt Campbell, chairman and CEO at The Asia Group, and CNAS co-founder; Eric Edelman, counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; Richard Fontaine, president of CNAS; Steve Hadley, principal at RiceHadleyGates and former national security adviser; Julianne Smith, senior fellow and director of CNAS’s Strategy and Statecraft Program; James Steinberg, dean and professor at Syracuse University; and Robert Zoellick, senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.