Wanted: A U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq

Melissa Dalton, fellow and Chief of Staff (International Security Program) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has published a new article. Her piece, “Wanted: A U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq,” appeared November 2015 as part of the Center’s winter anthology, titled 2016 Global Forecast. Noting that it’s been 15 months since the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria began, Dalton writes that “ISIS remains a formidable force,” expanding both in territory and new recruits, and contributing to the “world’s largest wave of migration since World War II.” Dalton observes, however, that ISIS is not infallible and has in fact opened itself to vulnerabilities through its brutality, which “distances it from the vast majority of Muslims,” its lack of economic sustainability, and its weak internal governance. Dalton concludes that if the United States and its partners are to defeat ISIS, a three-part framework must be implemented. These three items include working with Syrians and Iraqis to establish social and military structures, both locally and nationally; developing a multilateral partnership that involves local leaders, expats and regional allies; and coordinating a multinational peacekeeping force to help build a “credible security force capable of protecting civilians and countering terrorism.” 

The full article is available here.

Photo by European Commission DG ECHO | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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