Regions / Syria
Iran is the linchpin of security in the Middle East.
The U.S. cannot confront climate change, growing economic inequality, and the deterioration of our infrastructure and education system without reducing the $1 trillion it spends annually on defense.
Alternatives exist to airstrikes and boots on the ground when dealing with a threat such as the Islamic State.
Like layers of an onion, ISIS supporters can be carefully peeled away. But not if Obama goes into Syria and Iraq with a mallet.
Weakening ISIS requires eroding the support it relies on from tribal leaders, military figures, and ordinary Iraqi Sunnis. Here's how to do it without bombs.
But a state other than the United States might be a better choice to assume operational leadership.
Contradictory U.S. policies, as with Al Qaeda a generation ago, have aided and abetted the development of the Islamic State.
The expansion of the Islamic State is not a problem for the United States to solve alone.
IS, formerly ISIS, elicits cult-like behavior in its followers and those it conquers.
Washington sabotaged its own "war on terror" by destabilizing the Middle East even as it coddled the U.S. allies who were actually sponsoring terrorism.