This bill would require the president, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, and heads of other appropriate U.S. government agencies, to submit a report to Congress describing the United States’ strategy to secure the enduring defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda in the Middle East. This report would be required no more than 30 days after this bill’s enactment, and would be submitted in unclassified form (but may contain a classified annex).
At a minimum, the report would include:
- A description of the key U.S. security interests and political and military objectives, long-term goals, and desired resolutions for Syria;
- A description of how current military, diplomatic, and humanitarian assistance efforts in Syria align with U.S. objectives and interests in the country;
- Analysis of the threats that ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Russia, Iran, and other non-state actors pose in Syria and the surrounding region;
- An intelligence assessment of the historic and current force strength of ISIS and al-Qaeda and their forces’ locations;
- An intelligence assessment of the impact that the deaths of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other senior ISIS leaders will have on the organization;
- A description of ongoing U.S. and coalition programs to build local forces’ capacity to counter ISIS and al-Qaeda;
- A description of past, present, and planned efforts by the U.S. and international community to stabilize areas liberated from ISIS control, including efforts to establish local governance and provide basic services;
- A description of current U.S. and U.S. partners’ efforts to advance a sustainable political settlement in Syria;
- A description of the conditions that must be met to secure ISIS’ and al-Qaeda’s enduring defeat in Syria and the region;
- A description of the U.S. military and civilian presence and capabilities needed to effectively monitor and target ISIS and al-Qaeda in the region;
- An explanation of U.S. efforts to ensure the safety of Syrian Kurds and other Syrian nationals who were or are employed by the U.S. government in Syria from retribution by Turkey, the Assad regime, ISIS, al-Qaeda, or other armed groups;
- An assessment of the risks of refugees’ involuntary resettlement by the Turkish government in northern Syria;
- A comprehensive description of U.S. government activities utilizing social media and other communication technologies to counter ISIS’ propaganda, influence, and ability to recruit fights both domestically and internationally; and
- A description of the U.S. government’s efforts, including through economic sanctions, to deny financial resources (including revenues from natural resources extraction, sale of antiquities, kidnapping, extortion, taxation, smuggling, access to cash storage sites, and access to international financial networks) to ISIS and its affiliates in conjunction with international partners and financial institutions.