ISIS is sliding from the headlines (for now)……Assad is still fighting rebels (for lack of a more accurate term)…..Turkey is fighting anyone not a Turk but especially the Kurds….Iran is propping up anyone not a friend of Saudi Arabia…..so when the guns of ISIS fall silent….what will be next?
There are a few things that needs to be known before any declaration of victory is announced…..
With the retaking of Mosul in northern Iraq, the Islamic State (ISIS) could soon be a thing of the past. But the defeat of ISIS and the demise of its self-proclaimed Iraqi-Syrian caliphate won’t bring peace to the Middle East, or even an end to the Syrian tragedy. Rather, it is likely to open a new chapter in the region’s bloody and chaotic history – one no less dangerous than the previous chapters since the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
The continuation of this violent pattern seems almost certain because the region remains unable to resolve internal conflicts on its own, or to create anything like a resilient framework for peace. Instead, it remains trapped somewhere between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Western powers are hardly blameless for the Middle East’s woes. Any mention of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, by which Great Britain and France partitioned the post-Ottoman territories, still incites such rage in the Arab world that it seems as if the plan, devised in secret in 1916, had been conceived only yesterday.
And there is another thing that needs to be known before there are too many smiles of victory……ISIS is a group…terrorism is an idea that cannot be be beat with guns…..
The short response is yes. Crime forever? Also, yes. Turbulence, terror, pestilence, famine, love, procreation, taxes, families, sunsets, rain, shine, etc.—all are components of the human condition. There is no arc toward perfection in human nature.
The jihadists will remain our mortal enemy; no negotiations or deterrence theories will alter their murderous intent. Unlike in the case of the Vietnam War, there is no strong, unified domestic political opposition to waging a low-level war against terrorists. The mainstream press acknowledges that the jihadists are abhorrent. We are at war against Islamist terrorists. As Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said, the goal should be their annihilation.
Just of couple of things to keep in mind while we pat ourselves on the back because we defeated ISIS and its minions.