Pentagon chief seeks more help in anti-Islamic State fight

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday sought more help from dozens of defence ministers from the US-led coalition against Islamic State jihadists, as Russia mounts its own air campaign in Syria.

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 11, 2016, 17:12 PM IST

Brussels: US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday sought more help from dozens of defence ministers from the US-led coalition against Islamic State jihadists, as Russia mounts its own air campaign in Syria.

More than 18 months after the United States and the quickly assembled alliance began bombing IS targets, Carter is hoping renewed alarm over terror attacks around the globe and the jihadists` growing footprint in Libya will lead to greater military and financial commitments from partners at a meeting in Brussels.

He has taken a two-pronged approach to winning support, using a combination of private diplomacy and public shaming, accusing some unspecified members of the 66-nation coalition of doing "nothing at all" to help the fight.

Speaking at NATO headquarters on Thursday ahead of the coalition meeting, Carter said the "the capabilities that will be required to carry out the campaign plans... will be clearly delineated" to defence ministers. 

"We will be sharing with them the operational campaign plan for the defeat of ISIL... which we need to get done as soon as possible," Carter said.
Thursday`s meeting in the NATO headquarters will see Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, who is overseeing the anti-IS effort, give an overview of the situation on the ground.

A senior US defence official said Washington is looking not just for pledges of military support and cash, but ideas too. 

"The secretary will, frankly, give a call to his fellow ministers to be creative, to speak up to contribute to the thought leadership in the campaign," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There`s no monopoly on good ideas."