Past event

Civil-military coordination to save civilian lives while defeating the Islamic State in Iraq MECACS Events - Ambassador Douglas Silliman, President - Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington

Institute of Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies presents Civil-military coordination to save civilian lives while defeating the Islamic State in Iraq

Between 2015 and 2017, cooperation between the Iraqi government, the United States, the European Union, individual European states, the international military coalition to defeat ISIS, and the United Nations effectively ended the Islamic State's so-called caliphate in Iraq. Less well known is the extensive, unusual, and largely successful civil-military coordination by these same players aimed at saving civilian lives during the rolling land battles, providing assistance to internally displaced persons, and returning IDPs to their homes in safety and with dignity. Given the right conditions, this example could serve as a template for internatioanl civil-military coordination in other conflict areas.

Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman is president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2016-19 and U.S. ambassador to Kuwait from 2014-16. From 2013-14, he served as a senior advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, working on Iraq issues and the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Silliman was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq from 2012-13, minister counselor for political affairs in Baghdad from 2011-12, and deputy chief of mission in Ankara, Turkey from 2008-11. He joined the Department of State in 1984.Silliman served as director and deputy director of the Department of State's Office of Southern European Affairs, as political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, and as the regional officer for the Middle East in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He worked as a political officer in Islamabad, Pakistan, in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, as the desk officer for Lebanon, and as a staff assistant to the assistant secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Silliman began his career as a visa officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a political officer in Tunis, Tunisia.

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