The Battle for Mosul

November 10, 2016
11:00 am -

Event video

Introductory remarks:
Clifford D. May, Founder and President, FDD
Speakers (from left to right):
John Hannah, Senior Counselor, FDD
Michael Gordon, Military Correspondent, The New York Times
Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow and Editor of  Long War Journal, FDD

Event Description

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) hosted a lunch discussion on the battle of Mosul. The timely conversation took place Thursday, November 10, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm, and featured Michael Gordon, Military Correspondent for The New York Times and former Writer-in-Residence at FDD, and Thomas Joscelyn, FDD Senior Fellow and Senior Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal. The conversation was moderated by FDD Senior Counselor John Hannah.

The long-awaited coalition offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the hands of the Islamic State began two weeks ago. Michael Gordon has been reporting on the ground in Mosul and will provide his up-to-date analysis alongside Thomas Joscelyn who has been detailing the operation, the response of the Islamic State, and its broader implications in FDD’s Long War Journal.

This event is by-invitation-only and open to government officials, Hill staff, foreign policy professionals, members of the diplomatic corps, the think tank and foreign policy communities, and credentialed press.

The Islamic State’s response to the operation has included a series of suicide bombings around the city, with the roads into Mosul rife with improvised explosive devices meant to slow the advance of troops. With more than 6,000 fighters in the city, Mosul will not be easily taken by the coalition forces. Indeed, the fight is expected to be bloody. Join for a discussion on how the battle may play out and what forces may benefit from the post-battle Mosul.

Michael Gordon, a military correspondent for The New York Times, is completing a book on the American-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State. The book is scheduled to be published in 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has been on the ground covering the campaign to retake Mosul, beginning in October 2016. Mr. Gordon previously served as a writer-in-residence for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Gordon has covered a variety of national security issues at The New York Times, including defense policy, the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons, the talks over the Iran nuclear accord and diplomatic efforts to end the civil war in Syria. He has also covered numerous military conflicts from the field, including the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State, the war in Iraq, the conflict in Afghanistan, the Russian intervention in Chechnya, the Kosovo conflict, 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the American invasion of Panama.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and senior editor of FDD’s Long War Journal, a widely read publication dealing with counterterrorism and related issues. He is also a trainer for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Homeland Security Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and House Judiciary Committee.  Mr. Joscelyn is also a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard. His work has been published by a variety of other publications and cited by the Associated Press, Reuters, The Washington Post, USA Today, TIME, Foreign Policy, and many others, and he makes regular appearances on television and radio programs.

John Hannah is senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he brings two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy. During the first term of President George W. Bush, he was Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism. In President Bush’s second term, Mr. Hannah was elevated to the role of the vice president’s national security advisor. In his previous government service, John worked as a senior advisor to Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the Bill Clinton administration, and as a senior member of Secretary of State James Baker’s Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Outside of government, Mr. Hannah has practiced law, specializing in international dispute resolution.