What ISIS Really Wants – The Atlantic

“Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it, through air strikes and proxy warfare, appears the best of bad military options. Neither the Kurds nor the Shia will ever subdue and control the whole Sunni heartland of Syria and Iraq—they are hated there, and have no appetite for such an adventure anyway. But they can keep the Islamic State from fulfilling its duty to expand. And with every month that it fails to expand, it resembles less the conquering state of the Prophet Muhammad than yet another Middle Eastern government failing to bring prosperity to its people.”

This article[1] has been making the rounds and is well worth reading. It’s impossible to really make a coherent argument about how to tackle ISIS/ISIL/Daesh without understanding what their goals are.

Their goal, fundamentally, is to draw the United States into a land war in Syria, as they think that is the start of the end of days. Understanding that goal can at least help shape your thoughts on responding to ISIS, rather than simply echoing the easy “let’s get over there and kill them” premise.

It’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. I’m losing faith that the American people will ever realize that things are not simple.

(Via The Atlantic.)


  1. This article is from 8 months ago. Eight.  ↩

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