Ghani, Dempsey talk transregional fight on IS

KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey have discussed the possibility of forming a network to oppose the trans regional threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) aka Daesh.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Ghani on Sunday afternoon and said there was a clear need for a transregional strategy to address the threat of IS.
Daesh is the latest and most successful manifestation of the terror threat, they added, posing a military threat and promoting an ideology that appeals to disaffected youths around the world.
Dempsey has said for years the United States should address this transregional threat with a transregional strategy. IS began in Iraq and Syria, but has spread to the Sinai, Libya and into Nigeria. Now the group is recruiting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“I think we’re all having an important discussion on how to address the transregional nature of what is clearly a persistent threat that has to be addressed at a sustainable level of effort over a period of time,” Dempsey said to reporters traveling with him.
The chairman said he has asked Army Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission here, to expand his assessment of the current campaign in Afghanistan to include the changing nature of the threat and “to give us his insights into what he thinks we should do.”
Dempsey said Ghani told him in their meeting that Afghanistan should be a regional hub in a transregional network that includes the Levant, Iraq, North Africa and West Africa.
The chairman said Ghani’s idea falls in line with his own thinking, but that he would like a discussion among American leaders on what the objective would be. “Once we have a clear idea of what we would like to accomplish … over a 10 year period,” he said, “then we should discuss what authorities would be needed, … as well as what resources can be applied.”
The long-term look is important, the general said, because this is a generational fight and the level of resources supplied must be sustainable over 10 years. “I don’t want to do this one year at a time,” he said.
Afghanistan could be a coalition counterterrorism partner and a South Asia hub. Ghani also pointed out to Dempsey that other global actors – Russia, China and Iran –also are concerned about the rising IS movement and were looking to Afghanistan for help. Ghani believes Afghanistan could be an exporter of stability in this type of program, Dempsey said.
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