Trump Needs Political-Military Plan for ISIS

Cipher Brief

While ignoring Turkey's concerns and going all in with the Syrian Kurds may seem like the best military option for defeating ISIS, bringing Ankara into the fold for a multilateral campaign is the best way of avoiding bigger problems down the road.

On January 28, President Trump signed an order for the U.S. military to review the campaign against ISIS and develop a decisive plan to defeat it within 30 days. Given the threats that ISIS poses to our homeland, our allies, and partners, we argue this is the right approach. However, destruction of the ISIS "state" in Iraq and Syria within the context of the Syrian civil war, Iran's quest for regional hegemony, and Russia's resurgence on the international stage, will be as dramatic an event in the Middle East as any seen since the 2007 Iraq Surge. Decisions made now by Washington will shape the region for decades. Once Mosul in northern Iraq is liberated from ISIS in the coming months, victory against ISIS as a "state" with an organized military force can be achieved this year with the fall of its final citadel in Raqqa, Syria. There is no guarantee, though, that the Middle East thereafter will be more secure...

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