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Snapshot,
Hassan Hassan

Although ISIS defeats in Tikrit and other Sunni areas would seem like good things, the United States should tread carefully. The air campaign against ISIS in Iraq has reached its limits; more strikes won’t help against ISIS and will only further destabilize the sectarian balance in the country. It is time to take the battle further north to Syria.

Snapshot,
Dafna H. Rand and Nicholas A. Heras

In early March, Baghdad started a push to retake the historic city of Tikrit, in the center of the so-called Sunni triangle. Some Americans must be feeling a sense of déjà vu; the U.S. military tried something similar as part of the 2006-07 Arab Sunni Awakening. Then as now, counterterrorism operations combined with efforts to win Sunni hearts and minds required the tough, tedious work of offering the right guarantees and incentives to “flip” key leaders of the Iraqi Sunni tribal region away from the terrorists in their midst.

Snapshot,
Michael Knights

Unthinkable just a decade ago, the main government forces leading the battle in Tikrit are Shia fighters—the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) that are under the control of militia leaders. Worryingly, these forces’ main partners are Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Snapshot,
Michael Pregent and Robin Simcox

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is starting to show some wear and tear. True, it has pulled off some gruesome executions, attracted jihadists from across the world, and still holds swaths of Iraq and Syria. But cracks are appearing in the self-styled Caliphate.

Letter From,
Kayhan Barzegar

U.S. President Barak Obama has set a difficult goal in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). To achieve it, he will need to bring Iran on board, especially in the Syrian peace talks.

Snapshot,
Robert A. Pape, Keven Ruby, and Vincent Bauer

The ongoing U.S. air campaign against ISIS succeeded in blunting the group's drive toward Kurdish and Shia territory. But it has failed to prevent ISIS' consolidation of control over the Sunni areas in Iraq and Syria. Here's how the United States can accomplish both.

Snapshot,

We poll experts on whether they think the United States should significantly step up its military campaign against ISIS in Iraq & Syria.

Video,
Justin Vogt and Anand Gopal

Anand Gopal, former Afghanistan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, sits down with Justin Vogt, deputy managing editor of Foreign Affairs.

Snapshot,
Khalil al-Anani

On November 10, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a militant movement that operates out of the northern Sinai Peninsula, pledged allegiance to ISIS. The new merger underscores just how unstable Egypt remains—and how the military government may be losing its grip.

Response, Jan/Feb 2015
Lawrence J. Korb; Rick Brennan

Korb argues that Iraqi politicians and American generals are to blame for the bungled withdrawal from Iraq. Brennan replies.

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