The main takeaway from this latest atrocity is that the fight against ISIS will be a long war, measured not in terms of “defeat” so much as trying to contain its expansion in the region. Here are other issues pointed up by the latest horrors.
"Hostages taken today may nominally be victims of a single group, but they are caught up more fundamentally in a dysfunctional region-wide configuration. To end the broader problem will require brokering among leaders from Lebanon to Pakistan about the future of the region, both politically and physically," writes Robin Wright.
"It is striking that while the supreme leader has, in a manner, continued to support the Iranian negotiating team, he has also permitted this barrage of criticism of the president, his foreign minister and Iran’s negotiators at a sensitive juncture in the nuclear negotiations," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
"Despite two thousand airstrikes by American, European, and Arab warplanes since August 8th, the Islamic State has lost only one per cent of the land it seized in Iraq, and it continues to expand in Syria," writes Robin Wright.
"The latest Yemeni crisis raises the prospect of yet another Arab country where the United States faces rising dangers but has no strong partners amid a landscape of sectarian violence," writes Public Policy Scholar Robert Worth.
"If the outside world doesn’t come back to vigorously help stem the tide, Yemen may formally crumble into a failed state, with militias seizing more power and full scale war erupting among rival powers on multiple fronts," writes Robin Wright.
"The fact is, we are living in an age of jihadi terror. And the threat and likelihood of more attacks will be with us for years to come," writes Aaron David Miller.
"It's easy to miss blips on the digital radar when there are so many, but if our miscalculation about the kinetic capabilities of ISIS is any measure, we ought to pay attention to the CENTCOM hack," writes Meg King.
"The fight for the unity of Yemen will be both a struggle for the survival of the present Yemeni state and a battle over control of resources," writes Senior Scholar Amal Mudallali.
"Perhaps a more immediate fear, however, is that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula–-a group that has demonstrated its intent and ability to strike in the West—will carry out its own attacks, much like the one in Paris this week," writes Michael Kugelman.
Experts & Staff
- Henri J. Barkey // Director, Middle East Program
- Kendra Heideman // Program Associate
- Julia Craig Romano // Program Assistant
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Jason Brodsky // Policy Advisor to the Director, President and CEO and Research Associate
- Jeffrey Goldberg // Distinguished Fellow
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director Emerita, Middle East Program