The lead story in yesterday’s New York Times, “Experts Explain How Global Powers Can Smash ISIS,” starts out “Much of the world agrees that the Islamic State needs to be crushed. But how can that be accomplished?”
Here is the strategy espoused in the NYT article and also by Garry Kasparov, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
- Assad must go. “For the U.S. and the West to ally with Iran, Russia and the Assad regime in Syria would be morally repugnant, strategically disastrous and entirely unnecessary.”
- The importance of the Sunnis. “To beat ISIS you need the enlistment of the Sunnis and this won’t happen as long as Assad remains in power.” Removing Assad “would immediately have the support of Turkey and Saudi Arabia.” “The 2007 U.S. military surge in Iraq was so successful because it included the protection and recruitment of Sunni tribes to fight Sunni extremists.” “The hasty exit from Iraq left the Sunnis at the mercy of a hostile Shiite government.”
- Troops on the ground. “Anything less than a major U.S. and NATO-led ground offensive against ISIS will be a guarantee of continued failure and more terror attacks in the West.”
- Long term governance. “For the long term, eradicating the Islamic State and other violent Jihadi groups will require drastic reforms in the nature of Middle East governments. ISIS thrives on their failures.”
After the Paris attacks, the West now realizes that ISIS represents a huge threat to world peace and stability. Hopefully the U.S. is also beginning to realize that only it can provide the leadership to organize an effective response.
I will soon return to talking about the fiscal and economic issues which I usually dwell on. Every once in a while another major issue intervenes and takes precedence.