New Henry Jackson Society briefing assesses first 100 days of UK involvement in Iraq
As foreign ministers from 22 countries committed to fighting the Islamic State (IS) convene in London to examine their combat strategy, The Henry Jackson Society has released its briefing The First 100 Days of the UK’s Campaign Against The Islamic State. The publication examines the volume of the UK’s military activity since its first combat mission on 30 September 2014 and provides policy recommendations about potential next steps.
The briefing’s key data displays statistics about the scale of the campaign as well as about the limited success strikes have had in pushing back the frontier of IS’ zone of control, while further analysis highlights the political developments that have contributed to the improvement of the situation in Iraq.
Iraq and Syria both remain in a dire state. Combat operations must be stepped up against IS positions in both countries and the pace of training to Iraqi and Kurdish forces, as well as sympathetic Sunni tribes, must be accelerated.
Among the 22 countries assembled it is essential that all members pledge to fight IS in both Iraq and Syria. Without such a commitment, progress against IS will be limited at best.
Robin Simcox, HJS Research Fellow, commented:
“The UK has made an important military contribution against IS, yet more needs to be done. IS’ progress throughout Iraq has been checked, but the group still retains large amounts of territory. The UK has a vital role to play in terms of both airstrikes and providing military training in order to remove them. Furthermore, IS strongholds in Syria remain. The group’s strength there must be addressed urgently.”