Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stopping the Jihadist Cancer in Iraq and Syria

From Daniel Byman, at the Wall Street Journal, "A Plan to Fight Islamic State":
When President Barack Obama called the Islamic State a "cancer" on Wednesday, the description may have been more apt than he intended. The Sunni jihadist group is indeed a malignant tumor metastasizing in the body of the Middle East. But like cancer, it will be stubbornly difficult to defeat—and some of the cures could end up killing the patient.

The spread has been shockingly quick. In June, the Islamic State surged deeper into Iraq, taking Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, advancing close to Baghdad and threatening Kurdish territory. The group even declared a "caliphate." Only Mr. Obama's Aug. 7 decision to launch U.S. airstrikes halted its advance.

The Islamic State is stalled militarily but far from beaten. But there is a way to turn the tide...
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