Iraq has launched a military operation to oust ISIS from another city, while Lebanon, Hezbollah, Syria, Russia and Iran are teaming up to defeat ISIS in Syria. I talked about the situation a few minutes ago with host P.J. Maloney on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh.
So let’s assume that ISIS is defeated in both Iraq and Syria. That leaves the Iraqi government in charge of its country and the Syrian government in control of what’s left of Syria.
So ISIS is gone, but is it? We got the answer to that question in Barcelona a few days ago, when a terrorist ran over dozens of people and killed at least 14. ISIS claimed responsibility–just an indication that defeating ISIS on the ground in the Mideast is not going to eliminate the threat in the rest of the world. It might even make it worse.
And in Syria–with the US focused on fighting ISIS, the president, Bashar al-Assad, is regaining the offensive and could very well remain in power. This, after six years of civil war, hundreds of thousands of dead, millions of refugees, destruction of main cities across the country–and for what?
That’s why the main question, so far unanswered by policymakers in Washington is, ok, after we’ve defeated ISIS on the ground, then what?
My answer is doubling down to help the refugees and help rebuild the country, to restore good will that’s been destroyed over the past decade or two–but I see no sign of such an intention.