The Pentagon is pressing European and Arab allies to provide more troops and support for the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, hoping that the horror of the Paris attacks — and the fear that more are coming — will compel them to get more deeply involved.
The call for help is driven by a hope to build on what the Obama administration sees as the beginnings of battlefield momentum in Iraq and Syria. It also reflects a sense that the campaign has advanced too slowly and requires urgent military moves.
U.S. officials say they detect more European interest in contributing to the military campaign in Syria, where many governments have stayed largely on the sidelines. But the officials acknowledge that it will be difficult to get more from budget-strapped countries already involved elsewhere in the world. Chances of drawing significant additional help from Arab nations seem even slimmer.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter has made clear the basic U.S. strategy is not changing. But during a meeting with top advisers and commanders last week, Carter said now is the time to reach out to Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey for support in the fight against ISIL, according to a senior defense official.