The Great Debate UK

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:

Last of Saddam Hussein’s lieutenants may have fallen in Iraq, but Baathists fight on

By Mohamad Bazzi
May 6, 2015

The body of a man believed to be Ezzat al-Douri, is seen as it is delivered by fighters of the Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah, to the Iraqi government in Baghdad

The body of a man believed to be Ezzat al-Douri, is seen as it is delivered by fighters of the Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah, to the Iraqi government in Baghdad, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

With Shi’ite militia victory over Islamic State in Tikrit, Iraq still loses

By Maria Fantappie and Peter Harling
March 30, 2015

Iraqi security forces cover their ears as a rocket is launched during clashes with Islamic State militants at a frontline in Tikrit

Iraqi security forces cover their ears as a rocket is launched during clashes with Islamic State militants at a frontline in Tikrit, March 28, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

from The Great Debate:

Why arming U.S. allies can be like sending weapons straight to the enemy

By David Axe
March 25, 2015

A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur

A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

The cracks in Islamic State’s business plan are starting to show

By Ora Szekely
February 20, 2015

File photo of displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walking towards the Syrian border

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk toward the Syrian border, Aug 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said/Files

from The Great Debate:

Life is harsh under Islamic State. But what’s the alternative?

By Aki Peritz
February 9, 2015

Man walks down a street filled with abandoned vehicles and debris from damaged buildings in the northern Syrian town of Kobani

A man walks down a street in the northern Syrian town of Kobani, January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

from The Great Debate:

One group battling Islamic State has a secret weapon – female fighters

By Benedetta Argentieri
February 3, 2015

Female fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) stand at attention at a military camp in Ras a-Ain January 30, 2015. Picture taken January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Female fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) stand at attention at a military camp in Ras a-Ain January 30, 2015. Picture taken January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said

from The Great Debate:

The pope’s door is always open to ISIS. Why America’s should be, too.

By Jonathan Powell
December 8, 2014

Hamas fighter speaks on the phone as he sits inside the personal meeting hall of President Abbas after they captured his headquarters in Gaza

Pope Francis strayed into controversy recently when he said that, while he supported military action against Islamic State, he also would not rule out speaking to the group if it would help bring peace to Syria and Iraq. “It is difficult, one could say almost impossible, but the door is always open,” he said.

from The Great Debate:

Here’s why killing the head of Islamic State wouldn’t yield results

By Arie W. Kruglanski
November 27, 2014

Aerial view of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad

Many believe that killing the leaders of terrorist organizations like Islamic State could change the course of events in Iraq and Syria. Like the cutting off of a snake’s head, eliminating the chief of a terrorist organization is assumed to deal it a fatal or near fatal blow. The U.S. government, for instance, has often boasted about eliminating major al Qaeda leaders, and viewed such assassinations as a clear mark of progress in the ‘global war on terror.’

from The Great Debate:

Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes

By Aki Peritz and Tara Maller
November 17, 2014

Shi'ite fighters, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), take part in field training in the desert in the province of Najaf

It’s easy to get depressed about the Middle East these days. The bloodshed continues unabated in Syria. Islamic State advances across Iraq, sacking towns and slaughtering innocents. Millions are refugees. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems well ensconced in Damascus, on track to outlasting President Barack Obama in office.