Syria has always been among the Middle East's most repressive dictatorships, in addition to serving as the home to terrorists that have killed American soldiers and non-combatants in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and more. Now, Syria is under fire from within; since March 2011, tens of thousands of innocent Syrians have been killed in ruthless assaults by the Assad regime. While government forces continue to bombard major cities with appalling brutality, US strategic interests argue for intervention in this pivotal Arab country. For ongoing coverage and analysis on the escalating attacks in Syria, keep updated by AEI's foreign and defense policy scholars.
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The rash of beheadings that began with the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 and continued through the Iraq war, certainly renews focus on the practice and radical Islamism.
President Obama has so far ordered some 1,100 troops into Iraq and conducted close to 100 airstrikes. These limited tactical measures alone will neither permanently reverse ISIS gains nor address the maelstrom in the Middle East. A combined political, economic and military strategy is needed.
Is the West willing to live with the Islamic State governing and raising armies in the heart of the Middle East? The question is not rhetorical. It is fundamental.
Syrian President Bashar Assad winning the Syrian civil war is akin to dying of a heart attack, but a Syrian opposition victory is the equivalent of dying from cancer. Unfortunately, the time for preventive medicine was more than three years ago.
We invite you to tune into this Google Hangout conversation during which AEI foreign and defense policy scholars will discuss the implications of ISIS’s rise and the effect of US airstrikes thus far in Iraq.