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  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, James Phillips Next Steps for Addressing ISIS Genocide

    On March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria.[1] The State Department’s decision to label ISIS acts as genocide came on the heels of a “sense of Congress” resolution, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 14,…

  • Special Report posted January 6, 2016 by Lisa Curtis, Luke Coffey, David Inserra, Daniel Kochis, Walter Lohman, Joshua Meservey, James Phillips, Robin Simcox Combatting the ISIS Foreign Fighter Pipeline: A Global Approach

    The Islamic State’s recent global terror campaign—including the October 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 and the November 13 shooting attacks in Paris that killed 130 restaurant patrons and concert-goers—has increased the urgency for the U.S. to lead a global alliance to defeat the Islamic State and its ideology. ISIS has also been able to establish a…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Don't Be Fooled: America's ISIS Crisis Is Just Beginning

    Developments over this last weekend have left many Americans (and many of our allies) wondering about the progress (or lack thereof) of our fight against ISIS. First came news that U.S. Special Operations Forces had conducted a daring raid into Syria, killing a major ISIS leader. Then came word that ISIS had captured the city of Ramadi in Iraq. What does each development…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2015 by Peter Brookes In puzzler, prez lets ISIS know Iraq battle schedule

    Team Obama’s decision late last week to disclose to the press the operational outline for an all-out assault on the Islamic State (aka ISIS)-held Iraqi city of Mosul is a bit of a head scratcher. It’s like: “Hey, ISIS — please save the date.” The Pentagon also reportedly told the press that the April-May offensive would include as many as 25,000 Iraqi/Kurdish Peshmerga…

  • Commentary posted January 21, 2015 by James Phillips ISIS vs. Al Qaeda: The good news and the bad news

    The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has become a bitter rival of Al Qaeda, its parent organization. Its leaders represent a new generation of Islamist militants who have broken with Al Qaeda in a power struggle over Syria and the future of the global Islamist revolution. Both groups share the same ultimate goal: the…

  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • Commentary posted September 16, 2014 by Peter Brookes President Obama too fond of fairy tales

    President Obama would rather have been anywhere else on Earth but at that White House podium Wednesday night unveiling a new counterterror strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. Why? The speech — given in the shadow of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — cut sharply counter to the “wishful-thinking” narrative…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's ISIS strategy: Why Bush's 2007 warning on Iraq matters

    Replaying the video of President Bush's 2007 warning against a premature withdrawal U.S. troops from Iraq is all the rage. In the last 24 hours, millions of Americans have “gone to the tape."  But, unlike a referee’s decision in an NFL game, President Obama’s blown call on this question can't be reversed. There are no do-overs in war.   Still, Mr. Bush’s comments are…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Why Obama's ISIS Speech Is No Strategy: 5 Concerns Going Forward

    If making a speech served as strategy, then FDR would have checked that block by declaring Pearl Harbor a day of infamy. But not so. Long before the Japanese bombers and Zeros hit Pearl, Roosevelt’s team had put in months of hard thinking, planning and decision-making to prepare for the nightmare scenario of a two-front conflict with Germany and Japan. And after the…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by James Phillips The message ISIS wants to send to America, the world

    The grisly propaganda videos released by Islamist terrorists of the executions of innocent American hostages are coldly calculated to intimidate the terrorist group’s enemies, inspire its followers and incite further attacks against the United States and our allies. The Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS) considers the videos a…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. U.S. must stop giving ground in Iraq

    The best way to start winning a war is to stop losing. That axiom certainly applies to what’s going on in Iraq. But, that said, there is no place for American brigades in this battle. Yes, Americans have a huge stake in preventing al-Qaeda’s cousin from setting up a brutal caliphate in Iraq. The Middle East is a crossroads of the world. If unchecked, the malevolent…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by Daniel Kochis We’re All in this Together: U.S. Allies Should Do More to Confront ISIS

    Make no mistake, ISIS’s methodical march of savagery across the Middle East threatens more than the religious and ethnic minorities caught in its path. The United States and its allies, especially those in the region, have every reason to be concerned about the human cost of allowing ISIS to roam freely. Any rational person must be disgusted by the cold-blooded murders…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Way Forward in Iraq

    The situation in Iraq remains grave. Spiraling violence, political instability, and a humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could impact U.S. vital interests. The Obama Administration has an obligation to take responsible action. Congress should insist the President take immediate, suitable, and appropriate measures to safeguard American…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Prez Sticks to His Global Mistakes

    Secretary of State John Kerry recently floated a mind-boggling idea: To help turn back ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group that has seized control of more than a third of Iraq, the U.S. could enter a cooperative arrangement with the mullahs of Iran.  Yes, the administration still clings to the notion that it can advance American interests by cutting a deal with Tehran. No…