"As Washington teams up with autocratic regimes–some of which notoriously use the cover of their faith to justify unfair policies–the United States may have credibility problems among the very people it hopes to help," writes Robin Wright.
"In the words of the late Fouad Ajami, I suffer from the prejudice of low expectations. I'll own up to it. But after watching the United States operate in this broken, angry, and dysfunctional region under both Republican and Democratic administrations, and considering our allies and enemies in this situation, we damn well better keep our expectations real," writes Aaron David Miller.
"These mixed messages suggest that the Iranian leadership is either split over relations with the United States and the handling of the ISIS crisis in Syria and Iraq, or that it hasn't decided exactly which positions to adopt at a time of rapid and unpredictable change," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
"Nobody should underestimate the challenge of defeating ISIL. But the prospect of this crisis leading to an alignment of U.S., Sunni and Iranian interests holds out the prospect of finally creating lasting stability in the Middle East," writes Jack A. Goldstone.
"Our counter narrative against ISIL is what is going to win the day. If we don't win the argument, we, the coalition of forty, are never going to prevail against the extremists." says Jane Harman.
"The problem won't be fixed by a coalition of hangers-on and the not-so-willing -- nor, frankly, by the superwilling. This is ultimately a Syrian and Iraqi problem; it will require the kind of local buy-in that doesn't exist now and perhaps has never existed," writes Aaron David Miller.
"I do think boots on the ground are necessary to achieve the mission... but the face of the boots on the ground ought to be a Muslim face from the region," says Jane Harman in this interview on Morning Joe.
While ISIS is among the most terrifying terror threats to emerge in recent decades, Washington inflates the risks it poses to the U.S. homeland. Washington should be more focused on these four groups in particular, writes Michael Kugelman.
"Indeed, stripped to its essence, what the President has outlined isn't some grand strategy to transform the region or even to "ultimately destroy" ISIS; it's a much narrower transactional one to protect the homeland. And here's why," writes Aaron David Miller and Jason Brodsky.
"The worst outcome would be another open-ended, treasury-sapping, coffin-producing, and increasingly unpopular war that fails to erase ISIS or resurrect Iraq. The Middle East has a proven record of sucking us in and spitting us out," writes Robin Wright.
December 01, 2014 // 10:00am — 11:00am
December 01, 2014 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Experts & Staff
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director, Middle East Program
- Kendra Heideman // Program Associate
- Julia Romano // Program Assistant
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Jason Brodsky // Policy Advisor to the Director, President and CEO and Research Associate
- Roya Hakakian // Fellow
- Lilia Labidi // Fellow
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- William Green Miller // Senior Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Joseph Sassoon // Fellow
- Abdulkader Sinno // Fellow
- Robert Worth // Public Policy Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar