Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba wrote an op-ed in February detailing his plan for the defeat of ISIL. The Ambassadors call to action included three parts: involvement from regional nations, a call to action by Muslim religious leaders, and the deployment of ground troops.
The Ambassador acknowledges that Western and US participation is critical to defeat extremism. However, he strongly believes that the UAE along with its partners in the Middle East should band together and take on the majority of the fight. Ambassador al Otaiba explains that the UAE has increased the frequency of air operations and continue to deploy F-16s to Jordan to be closer to the action, as well as continuing a steady practice of hosting and supporting operations from UAE bases.
The UAE has a strong reputation for its ability to coordinate combat in the air and on the ground alike. After over a decade of battlefield experience in Afghanistan, the UAE has shown itself to be valuable ally in the fight against ISIL and extremism all over the globe.
The Ambassador also noted the importance of potentially using and deploying local well trained ground forces.
Finally, Ambassador Al Otaiba sees the present war as not one of Muslims against Non-Muslims, but rather a battle between two distinct notions of what the future may hold. Extremists do not only imagine a different future, but alternatively a future that does not exist. Therefore, success on the battlefield is largely dependent on the action and reaction of Muslim leadership. The Ambassador believes this element of the battle is not as greatly publicized in the Western Media, influential clerics throughout the region are forcefully advocating for moderation, tolerance and the development of new religious text aimed at training a new generation of clerics. The Ambassador explains that Muslim religious leaders must “directly confront extremists who cloak their radical ideas and violent actions in the language of Islam.”
With a three part coordinated plan including, support from regional nations, a strong stance from Muslim leadership, and ground troops Ambassador al Otaiba believes that ISIL and its satellite groups are capable of being defeated. And although all three elements are crucial to the plan, the Ambassador greatly emphasizes that a strong presence of soldiers on the ground is most important key to success in the fight against an extremist regime.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba