November 14, 2015

Paris attacks underscore risks of a slow U.S. campaign against Islamic State

Featuring Julianne Smith

Source: The Washington Post

The horror in Paris, coming just weeks after the downing of a Russian jetliner in Egypt, underscores the risks of a strategy that relies heavily on local forces to defeat the Islamic State with American backing.

The core of President Obama’s strategy is using U.S. military air power to contain and degrade the Islamic State until local forces are ready to take the fight to the group. It’s an approach that acknowledges the president’s reluctance to be drawn into another major ground war in the Middle East and his belief that U.S. military power can’t by itself secure a lasting victory in Iraq and Syria.

The Paris attacks suggest that the Islamic State and its affiliates may have a broader reach and pose a deadlier threat to the West than intelligence officials and the Obama administration had previously believed to be the case.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


  • Julianne Smith

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, where she coedits “Shadow Government.” She is also a senior advisor at WestExec Advisors, an adjunct senio...