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Uprooting ISIS from the swath of territory it holds between Aleppo and Baghdad will take a lot more than airstrikes or a change of government in Iraq. To prevent ISIS from building a permanent safe haven in the region, Washington must help settle Syria.
If Bashar al-Assad wins the war in Syria, as seems increasingly likely, he will not be magnanimous in victory. Post-war Syria will be a more brutal and anarchic place than ever before.
To stop Syria’s meltdown and contain its mushrooming threats, the United States should launch a partial military intervention aimed at pushing all sides to the negotiating table.
On NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook, Andrew Tabler previews his forthcoming Foreign Affairs essay on the spillover of Syria's civil war and how Washington can stop it. Also featured in the discussion are the Financial Times' Roula Khalaf and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
After almost two years of bloodletting in Syria, there is little chance that negotiations of the kind UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been urging would end the conflict. More likely, they would prolong it. And worse, they would perpetuate Bashar al-Assad’s favorite strategy of fanning fears of rebel sectarianism and extremism to dissuade the world from intervening against him.
The United States must push to reinvigorate the IAEA's investigation of Syria's suspected nuclear program. Washington's insistence would not only strengthen the global nonproliferation regime but also provide the Obama administration with leverage in its trying diplomatic engagement with Damascus.