November 04, 2015

CNAS Announces Formation of ISIS Study Group


Washington, November 4 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) today announced the creation of its ISIS Study Group, which will be charged with examining options for addressing the problems created by the self-described Islamic State. The ISIS Study Group includes a bipartisan set of foreign policy and national security experts, including former high-ranking Administration officials, former generals and ambassadors who served in the region, current and former military personnel, journalists, and Senators. CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy and CNAS President Richard Fontaine will chair the ISIS Study Group. CNAS Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg will serve as Director of the ISIS Study Group. 

 “ISIS continues to carve out a proto-state for itself in the vacuum of the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars, and poses a significant threat to Americans at home and abroad,” said Goldenberg. “Current efforts to counter ISIS require a re-examination particularly in light of the Russian intervention in Syria, the growing migration crisis in Europe, and the collapse of the DOD program to train and equip Syrian rebels. In the year since President Barack Obama committed the United States to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ ISIS, the group has suffered some setbacks in Iraq and Syria. However, it has also expanded its international reach, metastasized to form offshoots across multiple regions, and increased its perceived momentum. We formed the ISIS Study Group to provide a timely, relevant, and actionable strategy to make the U.S. effort to counter ISIS more effective.” 

 The ISIS Study Group will convene five workshops over the next six months with all of its members. The ISIS Study Group is charged with developing a holistic strategy to address the challenges represented by ISIS. The ISIS Study Group’s efforts will culminate in a final report written by CNAS’ regional and security experts. The report will be released in the spring or summer of 2016. 

 The full list of ISIS Study Group members is below:

 Hon. Rand Beers   Col. Valery C. Keaveny, Jr. (USA) 
 Dr. Erica D. Borghard   Dr. Joshua M. Landis
 Shawn Brimley   Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman 
 Hon. Derek H. Chollet   Dr. Marc Lynch 
 Dr. Steven A. Cook   Lt. Col. Peter McAleer (USMC) 
 Amb. Ryan C. Crocker   Dr. William McCants 
 Melissa Dalton   Hon. James N. Miller 
 William C. Danvers   Dr. Meghan L. O’Sullivan 
 Brian Fishman   Gen. (Ret.) David H. Petraeus 
 Hon. Michèle Flournoy   Dr. Kenneth M. Pollack 
 Richard Fontaine   Paul Scharre 
 Ilan Goldenberg   Loren DeJonge Schulman 
 Nicholas A. Heras   Julianne Smith 
 Hon. Kathleen H. Hicks   Andrew Tabler 
 Dr. Kimberly E. Kagan   Dr. Stephen Tankel 
 Brian Katulis   Frances F. Townsend
 Col. Valery C. Keaveny, Jr. (USA) 
 Dr. Joshua M. Landis  

To learn more about the ISIS Study Group, please contact JaRel Clay at or 202-457-9410.