Defense Secretary Ash Carter blasted members of the “so-called” anti-Islamic State coalition Tuesday for slacking off and passing the majority of the responsibility to the United States.
Carter delivered the remarks in anticipation of his trip to Europe next week, where he will meet with defense ministers who are part of the coalition, Defense News reports.
“A lot of them are doing — making considerable contributions to this, but some of them are not. And you really have to look at this — this is a fight of civilization against — for its own survival,” Carter said at a public forum, according to Defense News. “And we need everybody, and that’s all the Europeans — the Gulf States, which aren’t doing [enough], Turkey, which is right there on the border. So, there are a lot that need to make more contributions.”
Carter has a history of slamming Gulf States for poor participation. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken the brunt of his criticism. For Carter, the fact that these countries participate the least is ironic, since they stand the greatest risk of losing from ISIS expansion.
At the upcoming meeting in Belgium, Carter is set to deliver full Pentagon strategy to coalition nations, which includes exactly what is needed to execute a decisive campaign again ISIS.
“What I’m going to do with them is to say, all right, here are all the capabilities that are needed — boots on the ground, airplanes in the air, more prosaic things, logistics, bridging, training — training for those police that are going to patrol cities like they’re patrolling Ramadi now once the cities are retaken.” Carter said. “And I’m going to say, ‘OK, guys, let’s match up what is needed to win, with what you have,’ and kind of give everybody the opportunity to make an assignment for themselves.”
While the U.S. is perfectly capable of leading the fight, Carter added, other nations must contribute, as “Civilization has to fight for itself.”
Already signs of wear and tear are starting to appear in the U.S. effort against ISIS. Air efforts cost the Pentagon about $11.2 million a day. In total, the U.S. has spent $1.3 billion on so-called smart bombs over the course of August 2014 to December 2015. So many smart bombs have been used that the Pentagon is actually running out of them.
Carter released the Pentagon budget Tuesday to help ameliorate this problem, allocating $7.5 billion to the war effort against ISIS.
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