During an interview from Munich with NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Kerry said he “absolutely” believes the coalition is “on the road” to degrading and defeating the ISIL Takfiri group, including killing “a significant proportion” of their top leadership.
“We believe everything, including the governing process in Iraq itself, is moving in the right direction,” he said.
The top US diplomat claimed that coalition forces have recaptured 22 percent of the territory that ISIL once controlled “without launching what we would call a major offensive."
However, not everyone agrees with Kerry’s positive assessment of the battle against the militants, also known as ISIS. Retired US Army General Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, says the US strategy for destroying the brutal group is not working.
“The counterterrorism component works just fine to go after the high-value targets and key leaders,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “But we need a much broader strategy that recognizes that we’re facing not just this tactical problem of ISIS in Iraq and Syria…. I think what I’m saying is the strategy that we have is not working, and it’s clearly not working.”
"With affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, the group is beginning to assemble a growing international footprint that includes ungoverned and under governed areas,” Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said last week in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.
The president of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Masoud Barzani, has also delivered a grim assessment of the US-led military campaign against the group. “So far we have not seen any serious action which can quickly defeat ISIS,” he said during an interview with NBC last week.
The US Congress is preparing this week to consider whether to give the Obama administration the authorization to use military force against ISIL.
A US-led military coalition has been carrying out airstrikes on ISIL targets since August in Iraq. ISIL positions have also been targeted in Syria since late September.