VIOLENCE AND TERROR – A comprehensive solution for stopping Daesh

Western policy in the Middle East has been driving Iraqis to join Daesh, worsening an already difficult situation, panellists told a Friends of Europe Policy Insight.

“The problem started in 2003, when people were expecting that life would change for the better,” said Jamal al-Dhari, President of the Peace Ambassadors for Iraq NGO and a senior Iraqi tribal leader.

“But it got worse.” First Al-Qaeda entered the country, and then Daesh, leading to a problem that is harder to deal with than Saddam Hussein. “We are seeing that terrorism is increasing, which shows that the current way of treating the problem in Iraq is the wrong way.”

The 15 June event examined potential solutions to the terror and violence being unleashed by Daesh, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS. The group had been thought to be in retreat, but its latest advances have prompted a reassessment, and Washington is preparing to send additional military trainers to help the Iraqi government.

A major problem was created after the Iraq war, when people who had been involved in Saddam’s regime were removed from government roles, said Souad Mekhennet, a Correspondent on The Washington Post’s National Security Desk. “Army and intelligence people were sent home,” she said.

“They had weapons; they found themselves without a job; and they were angry. ISIS recruited them, which is why ISIS is in good shape. They are very well trained.”

The West is hampered by the idea held in much of the region that it is supporting Iranian militias, said Paul Hamill, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the American Security Project. As a result, people are choosing to support ISIS instead. “This conflict is a political issue,” he said. “If we overlay it with a military answer we’ll make it worse.”


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17.30 – 18.00 Welcome and registration of participants

18.00 – 19.30 Policy insight debate

Moderated by Shada Islam / Director of Policy at Friends of Europe

19.30 End of debate and cocktail


  • Jamal al-Dhari

    President of the Peace Ambassadors for Iraq NGO and a senior Iraqi tribal leader

  • Paul W. Hamill

    Director of Strategy and Communications, American Security Project

  • Damien Martinez

    Secretary General, Centre d’Analyse du Terrorisme

  • Souad Mekhennet *

    Correspondent, National Security Desk, The Washington Post

  • Marietje Schaake

    Vice Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States, Founding Member of the Intergroup on the Digital Agenda and Trustee of Friends of Europe
    Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament, serves on the International Trade committee and is the spokesperson for the ALDE Group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Schaake also serves on the committee on Foreign Affairs and the subcommittee on Human Rights. She is the founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. She has been called “Europe’s most wired politician” by the Wall Street Journal, “rising Dutch star” by CNN and was voted one of the “40 MEPs that matter” by Politico.


This debate is organised in association with:
US Mission to NATO 2015WEB

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