tv Road to the White House CSPAN May 30, 2016 1:00am-2:01am EDT
liberate the next town. there is a real sense of momentum on the side of the iraqi and kurdish forces. that needs to be sustained, and the united states has made it clear to the coalition that this is the moment to step up. they asked members of the coalition to look and see what else they could do. whate looking to see further we can add to the fight. committee ought to hear it first -- i am announcing your sending an additional air carrier aircraft into the theater to improve the air surveillance could build team we have. this is an aircraft that collects and analyzes intelligence, which helps us to better quickly identify and select targets in the campaign. we are continuing to step up.
we meet regularly, the defense ministers of the coalition, and we are urging other countries in the coalition to do the same. we have seen some welcome announcements from other european countries that they are prepared to do more. general martin may want to add something about syria. i think there is a clear distinction between the coalition's contribution in support of the iraqi government and that that it is able to manage in syria. arerly in iraq, we supporting the sovereign entity, and a military command. those relative advantages do not exist in syria where we are marginally engaged in the air across a much less homogenous battlefield, where the
identification of the parties, and tribes is much more difficult to determine. with respect to harnessing the significant grant component, which might maximize the tactical advantage the coalition were to provide, makes it that much more difficult. in terms of the decision made by parliament to move with airstrikes, any idea on the cost today, from the day parliament made the decision to today? >> i don't think we have yet -- [no audio] provide the committee with an estimate of that. i don't think we have completely yet released figures on the cost, but i would be --py -- the cost, i think,
it would be best if i were to come back. >> i would lick to follow on with you, if i may, from what you just said. syria, we are, in marginally engaged from the air only. this is because of the question of, who are we supporting on the ground? one of our terms of reference is will aire question, alone be effective in defeating ?aesh from a purely military perspective, would you give your opinion as to whether airstrikes on their own could defeat daesh or simply to grade them to some extent? >> my view is that airstrikes on their own are not going to defeat daesh, but they are going to both to grade them and constrain their ability to continue to develop.
materially, they are already having an effect. our contribution over syria is not exclusive to striking. we're also delivering substantial surveillance and reconnaissance, which is even more essential in syria where it to make precise targeting decisions without having a footprint on the ground. there are a number of particular target sets. the first is the ability of the caliphate to command and control itself. the second is to tackle the finances and reduce liquidity. the final piece is to destroy some of its infrastructure. in all three respects, air power , but a vital role insufficient without coordination on the ground to subsequently defeat. >> exactly. this is what i expected.
if this organization is going to be defeated, it has to be defeated by the use of air power in close support of forces on the ground that we are able to support. can i run over some of the statistics to make sure that i've got them right that have been supplied? taking the figures from the beginning of december -- because that is the point at which we began airstrikes in iraq, my well -- in understanding is there have been over 760 airstrikes in iraq against 1349 targets. , from theame period beginning of december when we began in syria, there have been 43 airstrikes against 103
targets in suryria. isn't this pretty much what we would expect when we are working closely in cooperation with active fighting forces on the butnd in one theater, iraq, the same cannot be said of the other theater, syria? -- too: include with conclude with statistics, i understand our estimated number of enemy combatants killed for , the beginning of december to the end of april, in number,518, a sizable but in syria, it is only 22, and the 22 or made up of zero in december, six in january, 16 in february, zero in march, and
zero in april. would you like to comment on whether or not that is precisely what we would expect given the different circumstances of having fighting forces on the ground in one theater that we are closely supported by airstrikes but not having the same helpful situation in syria? by saying iart think it is extremely misleading to look at statistics in that particular way. we are only able to estimate enemy killed in action. these are crude estimates because we don't have people on where we can't investigate every single attack. the aim of these missions is not to kill as many daesh as possible. it is to degrade them. occasion, by targeting their leadership, but in the end, to undermine their will to fight by
attacking their command and control, infrastructure, and so on. it is too simplistic to measure a mission by the number of people who are killed, and as you are implying, many of these missions are to gather intelligence rather than to inflict casualties. it is the preplanned missions that are usually targeted at infrastructure where we take great care not to kill people. spillingare to avoid casualties but perhaps general martin will add to that. >> i think your statistics aren't currently characterizing the nature of the tactical theaign, which is come in first instance, focused on a strategy of iraq first. we are now in the game of the second year of building up security forces, and they are
missions upfensive the euphrates and the tigris. it is a logical extension that the weight of their effort will be in terms of close air support provision in order to ensure a tactical overmatch as they come up against the opposition in these river valley towns and cities. by comparison in syria, the object is to disrupt command and control and to interdict and disrupt lines of communication. to a target array that is principally infrastructure-based. once you have destroyed the infrastructure, you don't need to revisit it as frequently as you do on the tactical battlefield in support of ground troops. >> that is what i expected to hear. i'm sorry the secretary of state thinks i'm trying to extrapolate too much from the numbers killed. i only added that as an
afterthought. the plate i was trying to put to you is, in iraq, we are having something like 15 times as many airstrikes as we are in syria. i don't think that is open to dispute. the question was already brought -- whereas many of these airstrikes are in support of inund forces, they are not syria. in syria, they are targeted at infrastructure. idea how manyy occasions out of the 43 airstrikes that have been inried out in syria december, january, february, march, april, how many of those were in support of forces
fighting on the ground, and if support of forces on the ground, how many of those were in support of kurdish forces fighting on the ground in syria or other moderate forces fighting on the ground in syria? have any of our airstrikes been in close support of non-kurdish fighters fighting on the ground in syria? >> yes, they have. >> how many? >> most recently come in the last few days, north of aleppo in the fighting taking place along the murray online. i think they probably could you get -- could get you that count of information. we are part of a coalition. the selection of whose aircraft
is a part of each particular mission is something that is decided on a coalition basis, but we will do our best to get you that information. share and also amplify the sense that in terms targeting, there is much less of a distinction made between syria and iraq. the plan is to a tackle -- tackle daesh across its length and breadth. whilst the battlefield geometry might suggest that the coalition support is for iraqi forces, we might not be doing as much in syria, in fact, we are pressuring the entire daesh network in those areas it has been most vulnerable. >> the reason behind this questioning -- i would like to know -- i don't know if the secretary of state will tell us -- is which forces other than
the kurds the airstrikes are in aleppo.of near the question in my mind is the much vaunted figure of 70,000 moderate fighters, and if there were 70,000 moderate fighters when we began airstrikes in syria in order to support, one would have expected there to have been a considerable number of our airstrikes in support of such forces fighting on the ground in syria. that doesn't seem to have happened. >> you haven't seen the figures yet, and we will provide it. >> considering that there were kills and all across four months, and a large proportion of those were against infrastructure, there cannot have been many --
>> you are simply referring to our airstrikes. the coalition has been involved in this campaign. there have been strikes by series of aircraft every night, but we will get you the figures. a significant portion of the airstrikes have been in support of the syrian democratic forces, and so far as the figure of 75,000 is concerned, when you say it is much vaunted, we continue to confirm that figure. is our intelligence suggests there are still on that order of people fighting the syrian regime, and they have been fighting them for over five years, which itself is a testimony to the size of the opposition that there is. >> we will come back later to the composition of that opposition and to what extent it is or is not islamist. which hasn to raqqa, been described as our prime minister as the head of the force the syrian defense
has been built up largely by the americans, but my understanding is that that force, which is going to launch an assault, hopefully to defeat daesh in ra qqa, is predominantly made up of ces, abouth ypg for 80% made up of the kurds. my question is actually this the kurds and a limited number of non-kurdish syrian forces succeed in taking aqqa, to whom will we hand over control? that kurdishne forces would be willing or able of raqqa in control
indefinitely. who would we be looking to hand raqqa -- under whose government would raqqa be? >> there are a number of assumptions you have made, and i would question some of them. forces will encircle raqqa, and clearly, it is going to be a long campaign. we already see kurdish and arab forces under pressure from the regime. we see them taking on daesh in the northeast and northwest of syria. perhaps general martin can speak to that. >> the military contribution of the syrian democratic forces has suggested this far that they
represent the single most capable maneuver force with an exclusive focus on fighting daesh. elements findon themselves in a multiple-dimension fight against regime, regime-backed foreign militia, and other elements within the opposition itself. it represents in some respects the most capable and homogenous organization. with a tactical ambition in the first instance to secure the traditional northern syrian towns. >> what we have is a force that helps to take control of the headquarters of daesh, and three quarters of them are made up of kurds. they will not be welcome
indefinitely, even if they are successful in taking control of raqqa. arises, as it so often arises in these circumstances, what do we do after the initial military success in terms of creating political stability? the problem that we have in syria is that apart from the kurds, you've got a sod on the one side -- assad on the one-sided and a variety of fighting organizations on the other side, the majority of whom are islamist. over controlhand of that city to in the long-term? >> long-term -- >> or even in the medium-term. > we want to see raqqa returned to a legitimate authority in syria. when you say there are all these different factions doing the fighting, there have been, but they are starting to do the
talking, and they are now meeting as part of a forum we to workrted to convene syria towards a new political settlement, which is representative of all of syria. >> before i hand it over to my colleague, may i remind you secretary state -- of state of the written answer you gave last year? in october last year, you are asked, which moderate, non-islamist groups with credible ground forces live in the kurds are fighting daesh in syria? there are ae was, number of moderate opposition forces focused on fighting the a regime.me -- assad
many are also fighting isil in areas of strategic importance. then you added, the vast majority of these opposition andps are islamist, similarly, the prime minister in his evidence to the liaison committee on the 12th of january there are 70,000 moderates. he said, i repeat, yes, some of the opposition forces are islamist. some of them are relatively hardline islamist, and some are what we would describe as secular democrats. this seemed to me to be something of a deconstruction of this idea that there are 70,000 moderate forces in support of whom we are waging a military campaign in syria. i think you are continuing to cast out on this figure of
70,000, which we continue to confirm. it's very odd that a battle has been fought against the syrian regime for five years if there wasn't a substantial opposition -- number of opposition fighters. >> the question is -- no one doubts the amount of opposition fighters -- the question is whether they are moderate or whether they are islamist. as you admitted to come is significant number of the people you are talking about are relatively hardline islamists, and we have had testimony from several witnesses who made it quite clear that the overwhelming majority of opposition forces, opposition people with guns are islamist, which is what you said in october in response to the written question. >> let me answer that.
>> mr. secretary, i am resigning from it. i am saying that the 70,000 so-called moderates are in fact in large part islamists, and that is why i want to focus on battalions of moderates. there are battalions of islamists. the question is, are there 70,000 moderates? the prime minister seems to have admitted that these forces are overwhelmingly islamist. >> the test is, are they prepared? the test we have had to apply, since we have had to consider, who are the right people to engage in the talks for the test settlement -- of all these groups is, are they prepared to lead within a plural political settlement that can in the end be democratic and take syria towards elections? that is one of the tests that is
applied and should be applied. the nature of these islamists they are a group of non-extremist opposition whom we could imagine buying into a broader political settlement in syria. that isn't to say that all of them are exactly the same. there is a range of them. they are what we view as non-extremist. >> let me close, and then i will give richard ample time to develop a thesis, as well. america, was said in virtually all the opposition is it was so messed -- islamist one
way or the other at this point. he went on to say -- i hope we can reach some convergence -- we make a distinction between those andare saladi jihadists political islamist groups tied to the muslim brotherhood, the likeliest source of acceptable allies we could work with. it appears to be -- we have had similar evidence from other experts -- it appears to be fairly well conceded that the majority of the opposition said in your own written answer, a have a majority are islamists. it is just a question of distinguishing between those islamists who are regarded as beyond the pale, quite rightly, ists, and other islamists who might be more closely affiliated with organizations like the muslim brotherhood.
that seems to be what we are getting from the experts. is what you are saying is that so-called moderates, or moderate islamists like the bubble -- moderates are moderate islamists like the muslim brotherhood? >> we could argue about what our precise definitions of islamists, what is beyond the pale, etc. the political process that is starts to askay these groups to make their choice, what are they are prepared to work with us for a political settlement in the part of the democratic process. that should be the test as to under somey can live form of secular and plural settlement. >> as long as their assurances can be believed, of course. is really important is to get the civil war stop, to
get people to focus on the , get themdaesh defeated, and give syria a future to which its own people can have confidence in rather than be driven to make a dangerous cross into europe. >> thank you. i want to ask you to comment on this. percentage of the pre-civil war population of syria is about 0.5%. i wouldn't be surprised if there were not that number of relatively secular individuals who, given the right incentives, would be prepared to coordinate their activities in fighting daesh or the regime. the key point i would like to ask you about is, what are we talking about here? littlenot talking about
green men on one side and civilians on the other in a binary. our activities in iraq and syria an be in support of structured course of some sort, or it could be in support or to alleviate the pressure on to individuals with ak-47s protecting their village. i think the committee would benefit from a clear understanding about what we are dealing with. this is a fluid, multifaceted conflict with individuals protecting their house, their village, their valley, and in some cases, a concept that might be wider than that. i hope you might be able to bring to our report a clear understanding about what friendly forces exist out there, excepting that there is good-natured moderation.
it would be helpful to have an understanding of that. just to start, i do think we ought to ask ourselves, given the might of the syrian forces, the might of the syrian war machine, how it is they have been defied for over five years now, since march of 2011. if there weren't at least 70,000 theng them on, i hope committee will reflect on that, how that civil war has been maintained so long. >> the question is whether they are moderates. question of the moderate islamists, what it comes down to is not extremists who we believe we can work with and who we believe will be committed to an enduring political settlement in syria when it comes. i don't have the details in front of me, that they are
various groups of various different levels of military capability. i think that is the question you are getting at. some are more organized than others. say, i think your soundserization accurate. at this stage, in a very brutal , pragmatismtruggle characterizes the approach for a quite a scope of organizations who are fighting for their lives, freedom, and families. therefore, in the local tactical circumstances in which so many of these individuals and organizations find themselves, all sorts of compromises and marriages of necessity are made to survive. whether they are more or less extreme, i would expect that they all demonstrate a
of loyalties, interests, and objectives, some of which converge and some of which are distinct. >> thank you. >> obviously, we are working with different forces, and we find it ideal to support the iraq he army. there have been concerning reports about human rights abuses by the iraqi army. i wonder what we are doing to investigate them, number one, and number two, have we incorporated different training in the iraq he army about what is and isn't acceptable in a 21st century warfare world? >> absolutely. this is formally part of the training thawe offer, and we start with assurances from both
prime minister abadi and from the kurdish regional government that any allegations that are made will be properly toostigated and that they are committed to respecting the rules of armed conflict. general martin white want to add. point,make an important and it is one that has been recognized by the collision, that it is absolutely fundamental in growing a new iraqi security forces that we do so on a basis that is compliant in the first instance with humanitarian law and also with the law of armed conflict. that is a specific syllabi underpins all the training that is being applied to iraqi security forces, and instances where it is breached and is evident, clearly, that is
recorded with the iraqi government. >> [indiscernible] it's not going to help us with long-term counterterrorism efforts. it's not going to help us counter radicalization. what processes have we put in place? >> where allegations are made, sometimes, of course, they come through ngos -- where allegations are made, they are raised by our embassy in baghdad with the government of iraq. they are raised by the consulate general, and we do have assurances that these allegations when they are made will be promptly investigated. -- assurancesnces
from the prime minister and president of the kurdish regime. we have had instances already where the kurdish regional government has conducted internal investigations. there were allegations made about ill-treatment on mt. s injar, in that particular operation, and those allegations have been promptly investigated. >> the key point is, where those allegations are held up, the coalition removes the support it is providing to those organizations. where there are shia militia, the coalition is not providing close air support in support of those ground organizations. >> thank you very much. [indiscernible]
if we get daesh from one city at a time, is this going to allow them to reinforce other areas of control? -- we in a position [indiscernible] right now is on the point of the dilemma whereby their strategic strength comes from conflicts. in terms of protecting that, they are increasingly drawn into a nutritional, tactical effort to hold and defend ground against the iraqi security forces in particular who will only grow in strength, confidence, and capability over
time. they now have to make this judgment, to the extent to which they are willing to cede geography and territorial limits of the caliphate in terms of their strategic centers of gravity, mosul and potentially raqqa, and secondly, the effort it might allocate to an indirect approach, which moving to a high and insurgency. -- high-end insurgency. they are effective in destabilizing the iraqi fear andt, sowing concern over the security of the capital.
their ability to sustain both the conventional and the irregular effort will be something that will become a move overdifficult time. as for whether it is correct for tho coalition to be g activity up the euphrates valley to interdict supply routes into raqqa and syria, i think it is important that we view daesh as a wider network and that we tackle it breadth,s depth and which includes overwhelming it with a degree of simultaneity it is confronted by. they will find it increasingly difficult to allocate resources against these pressure points, particularly when their control and command systems and leaders are being degraded. >> general, can i clarify
something? you said on iraqi troops are returning back to baghdad. when we were there, there was a concerned there were too many troops in baghdad, and they are not being deployed elsewhere. are we seeing more iraqi troops returning to baghdad? >> what i was saying was that the daesh strategy in terms of mounting a suicide bombing campaign in the capital will be designed to fix an excess of troops focused on the security of the capital. >> which is currently what is -- it's at least one third or more of the iraq he army deployed around baghdad. >> that is not a statistic i recognize. >> as far as most soul and raqqa -- mosul and raqqa -- [indiscernible]
are we moving towards being able to do that? >> there are two principal fronts in iraq -- three actually, in iraq alone. forces are onrity axes both of the euphrates and tigris river valley, and also the kurdish regional government, in terms of stabilizing its frontlines. it's also threatening mosul from the north, east, and northeast, and it is perfectly feasible for the security forces to manage that degree of simultaneity. at the same time, across the border in syria, daesh is having to absorb the coalition air campaign against it, and the prospect of having their main supply routes through to turkey being cut by syrian democratic forces. >> i was going to ask about the supply routes. how successful is the coalition at disrupting the supply lines to daesh?
are we being very successful? >> we are being very successful on the principle mainlines of communication. edadi, which sh sits on the main route between mosul and raqqa, was recaptured by syrian democratic forces/ it looks like they are maneuvering to cut the main route north into turkey that runs to raqqa. on thursday and friday of last week, the iraqi army secured a town, which sits on the strategic land between jordan and baghdad. it looks as though daesh are now struggling to retain their hub. >> [indiscernible] >> raqqa is considered to be the principal location. is, is thereoint
concern over daesh's use of chemical weapons? what are we doing to support the allies in dangerous chemical weapons attacks? we think there have been credible reports, principally that stands for the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, and they have independent reports that they grade with "the utmost confidence" that there have been some isolated use by daesh of improvised chemical weapons, probably drawn from a variety of industrial chemical sources. product they are reporting
is predominantly sulfur mustard. it hasn't proved particularly effective on the battlefield. they had put it in explosive projectiles and landmines, and explosion and blast itself rendered the agent neutral. >> thank you very much. secretary gordon gave ed in the dense -- evidence, and he said it worse than that. he has seen patients at the hospital his ngo runs, and he has been trying to find the equipment. i want to raise quick questions. do you think we could provide more protection, particularly as difficult operations like the taking of most soul -- mosul come nearer and the possibility
of improvised chemical weapons -- certainly, the heavy machine guns we have given to the kurds have been reported as battle , as well as with the training with them. there is a shortage of ammunition. it would be a great shame if we were not able to continue to support that. the third question is about training. it was reported to us that kurdish commanders were saying that those troops who had gone through british army training programs were four times more effective on the battlefield and those who hadn't. can you comment on whether those sorts of assistance will be forthcoming, particularly the ammunition point? >> as i said earlier, i've been asked by the american leadership in the coalition, each country
has been asked to look at the contribution it's making, to see if it can offer more. we will continue to look at what more we can do to support the momentum of the campaign. on your three specific points, in terms of protection, this is something that has to be done across the coalition. it has to be done on a collegiate basis rather than individual countries making individual offers. we are specifically asking the iraqis to use the coalition mechanisms so we can determine exactly what they believe the risks are. that work is in hand at the moment. ammunition, the heavy machine guns we have supplied, which i have seen in training, both have proved effective,
we're looking at a further package of ammunition to support them. that goes through various processes, including approval by this house, but i hope that additional ammunition can be supplied in the next few weeks. i think our training is highly valued by the iraqi and kurdish forces. i think it is concentrated. general martin? >> the training issue is clearly progressing confidently. the question is the degree to soldiers are coordinated
in water capabilities that is and hasally stable sufficient combat engineering support. the bulk of their activity is defense along the peshmerga frontline. in that respect, we would expect to sustain the effort we are doing at the moment. coalition commanders are not yet specifics inth the terms of the training pipeline and its capacity to push through. there is clearly a minimum critical mass to the reserve recruiting pool and reservoir of available manpower, and at the moment, it seems to be in balance. people are not waiting to be trained. we're able to train all who present themselves.
evidence, i to the think there is a specific point about whether the regime maintains a chemical weapons capability. a significant portion of the barrel bombs have a chlorine element, and there is evidence they might have used others. regime storage and production facilities associated with the previous chemical weapons regime feature high on the coalition target list. by theere very impressed training package. i think it delivers what we all want in this place.
i will move on to talk about daesh. if its areas of control diminish, what happens then? we are trying to get some idea about how we can support whatever emerges in that area, preventing it from becoming a vacuum in which other malign forces might move, and making sure there is stability in infrastructure and all the other things we take for granted in a civilized society. what happens is they are pushed out of towns, villages, and valleys to make sure those areas become peaceful? >> that is the key challenge, not just that they become peaceful but that the population has the confidence to return. essentials ofthe
life provided, and above all, there will be security and policing. that is stabilization work that we do in conjunction with them, with our colleagues, and it also continuing political reform in iraq. we have continued to encourage the iraqi government to crack on with reforms that are needed in terms of national guard and local policing and giving the governors the powers they need to be able to organize the essentials of life. the state department mission relies on political reform people can buy into. it relies on local security people have faith in and can buy into. it relies on local services that are being provided, some at a local level, some at a national level.
id would be a -- the counter ied effort is important. one of the shortfalls at the iednt is most of the capacity is in the iraqi security forces who are clearing areas and moving on to the next battle, leaving potential a number of ied's behind that we need to clear. we are working through the u.n., the mine action service to ensure that is done, and that is part of the stabilization effort that is absolutely essential. >> going back to the political strategy, to try and understand what is being done across the board to try to make sure there
aren't more malign political that want what we want to achieve, a degree of stability in the country, and whether the military activity is properly being backed up by an effort to encourage forces of moderation, to reoccupy areas, to try to find a political solution. i recognize that is a wider issue. can you give the committee some comfort that there is a real political imperative in finding a solution? >> there is on our part and on the part of the coalition. i think you are right. my worry is that the military progress is getting ahead of the political progress we need. that is why we are looking to
see what we can do to help the economy of iraq, which has suffered quite significantly from the drop in the oil price. we've announced a package of assistance through the world bank. we continue to urge political ourrm in baghdad, and diplomats have played an important role in trying to bring baghdad and opec closer together, to encourage the return of the kurdish mps to baghdad. we continue to emphasize to the prime minister that this is not going to last unless he can properly bind in the tribes of anbar and if he can provide the degree of assurance to the sunni population that they are not going to be exposed again to any of the kinds of malevolence they had under the previous regime.
>> is there a role for other ngos or, whether it is even the private sector, that can deliver that degree of stabilization we're going to need once the military phase is over? >> yes, some services will be provided by ngos. clearly, the politics has to be themselveshe iraqis and the government. security has to be provided by local security forces that people buy into, but some of the services can be provided externally. we're putting money ourselves into that. we are working closely on that. as the secretary says, the difficulty is the pace. the military campaign is being successful, but our giveaway, the politics is lagging behind.
>> it has been suggested one of three things could happen. daesh become what the taliban in afghanistan. it could increase the number of terrorist activities. which one of those to think could happen, or do you think all three could happen? what is the u.k. going to do to prepare for each of these scenarios? >> on the insurgency, as we are doing in afghanistan, and i imagine for a while, we will have to continue to support the government and its counterterrorism effort come even if daesh is pushed out of the country. ability toaesh's expand abroad, we have seen
daesh grow rapidly in northern libya, and that is obviously a concern. we are intensifying our efforts to support the new government in libya. course, it has 100 priorities, but also to get it to focus on what needs to be done to stop daesh from spreading westward. i'm sorry, i forgot and the third point. -- i am forgetting the third point. >> [indiscernible] >> that is certainly possible, that we see a tax increase elsewhere in proportion to the way they are being diminished in the caliphate, and we will have to continue to be extremely vigilant. anything you want to add? >> i think it is worth reminding ourselves that daesh is an evolution from al qaeda in iraq,
which was an insurgency and a terrorist organization. it will almost certainly revert to some of those roots. it clearly has the virtual dimension, which can be sustained irrespective of its numerical and geographic strength, and there needs to be no dilution to the international effort to continue to identify and effete it in the internet space -- defeat it in the internet space. were it becomes displaced, need to continue to reinforce the strategy of hardening regional neighbors in terms of their ability to be able to addle this sort of low-level and flow of uncertainty -- ebb and flow of uncertainty. >> of course, the success we are
having on the ground in iraq and in syria does put pressure on daesh and their ability to engineer and launch external attacks. it could be when they're feeling squeezed come under pressure, there is an argument at which point they resort to it, and there is an argument equally they find it harder to incorporate, as well. they don't have the freedom and time or space to do the planning. [indiscernible] what are we doing holistically militarilyefeat them but financially, as well? >> it is a battle that needs to be waged across the spectrum.
they seem to be able to get some revenue from selling arms and artifacts, antiques around the world. that is being constrained. there is a lot of work going on to limit their sources of revenue. strategic communications, we take the lead in the united kingdom. the foreign office is staffed by people from other countries, as well. we link up what we are doing to combat. some messaging through social media to take down websites, to reduce the amount of tweeting or whatever else they are employing, so there is a lot of work going on there to try to make it more difficult for them to get their message out. there is also were going on to limit the number of foreign fighters joining them. there is some evidence now that the numbers have dropped off
quite markedly from the early days as the different countries of western europe have begun to tighten their controls on this, , toestrict people's travel investigate those likely to go after daesh. the military part of this is just one strand. have wee finance side, got any evidence that private aretions from individuals going into daesh? >> i don't have information about private flows. we have to make that harder. we are doing some work to understand daesh's particular financial networks.
we are working to understand that and to cut down on some of the intermediaries they may have been using. -- to deal with the affiliates of daesh, what analysis are we doing to find out how much of a threat they pose? we know about libya. what are their facilities? what kind of analysis have we made of that threat, and what threat to they pose to the u.k.? intelligence agencies and the joint terrorism analysis center have all done there kind of analysis. there are different kinds of groups. some affiliates have just taken the name. some have bought into the ideology, using the brand.
some aspire to have more established links with daesh in iraq and syria. there are a mix of individuals and groups at different stages of development, but the agencies are keeping an eye on them all. strategye to nip them in the bud. to get problems before they expand. >> is there an affiliate sort of directly to the united kingdom?