from The Great Debate:

How will the war against Islamic State end?

June 19, 2015

Displaced Sunni people fleeing the violence in Ramadi, cross a bridge on the outskirts of Baghdad

Displaced Sunni people fleeing the violence in Ramadi, cross a bridge on the outskirts of Baghdad, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

Back to Iraq: No really, these troops are just here to advise

By Peter Van Buren
June 16, 2015

An officer from the coalition forces gives advice to Kurdish Peshmerga forces during a training session by coalition forces on how to fight street battles and defend the front lines on the outskirts of Dohuk province

An officer from the coalition forces gives advice to Kurdish Peshmerga forces during a training session on how to fight street battles and defend the front lines on the outskirts of Dohuk province, Iraq, June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

from The Great Debate:

While Syria burns next door, Lebanon’s fabric is fraying

By Mohamad Bazzi
June 11, 2015

Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon

Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

from The Great Debate:

To recapture Ramadi from Islamic State, Iraq must use this formula

By Hayder Al-Khoei
May 18, 2015

Displaced Sunni people, who fled the violence in the city of Ramadi, arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad

Displaced Sunnis, who fled the violence in the city of Ramadi, arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad, April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

Why Yemen is tearing itself apart

By Clive Jones
January 23, 2015
 Army soldier stands near a building destroyed during recent fighting between the army and al Qaeda-linked militants in southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar

Yemen is witnessing another bout of instability, as Shi’ite Houthi rebels seized the presidential palace on Tuesday in the capital Sanaa demanding power-sharing concessions from President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is being held as a virtual prisoner in his residence. In the ensuing chaos, some worry about whether the volatile political situation could end up strengthening al Qaeda.

from The Great Debate:

The U.S.-Iran non-alliance alliance against Islamic State

By Aki Peritz and Faris Alikhan
October 29, 2014

Smoke rise over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border

One irony about the fight against Islamic State is that the nations now striking the extremist group the hardest also dislike each other the most.

from The Great Debate:

Avoid a classic blunder: Stay out of religious wars in the Middle East

By Elizabeth A. Cobbs
September 16, 2014

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Muslims in the Middle East are fighting wars of religion. Like the carnage between Protestants and Catholics that haunted Northern Ireland during the last third of the 20th century, there is little anyone can do until local peoples crave peace so intensely they are willing to cultivate it.

from The Great Debate:

To beat Islamic State, Obama needs Iran

By William B. Quandt
September 11, 2014

Masked Sunni gunmen pray during a patrol outside the city of Falluja

President Barack Obama delivered a speech Wednesday night designed for an American public that has been losing confidence in its commander in chief.  Much of his address was about attitude -- we are tough, we will act, we will prevail, but we will do all this with airpower, not boots on the ground (or not many) and in cooperation with friends and allies. This mission will not be a repeat of Afghanistan or Iraq (President George W. Bush’s wars), Obama promised, but will be more like Obama’s campaigns against al Qaeda -- don’t forget he killed Osama bin Laden! -- and the continuing strikes against radical Islamists in Somalia and Yemen.

from The Great Debate:

If U.S. joins Islamic State fight, how will it get out?

By Bill Schneider
September 10, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

When President Barack Obama makes the case for military action against Islamic State militants on Wednesday night, it won't be hard to convince Americans to get involved in the conflict. The hard part will be explaining how we get out.

from The Great Debate:

If at first you don’t succeed in Iraq, Surge, Surge again

By Peter Van Buren
July 17, 2014

Major-General Hertling, the commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq, walks during a battlefield circulation patrol on the streets in Mosul

America's new strategy for resolving the Sunni-Shi’ite crisis in Iraq? The Surge -- again.