Obama's caution about jumping into the Syrian civil war seems tacitly to acknowledge that the intervention went awry. So how should it affect the conduct of the campaign against ISIS?
The White House warned last week that the situation in Iraq risks becoming a "humanitarian catastrophe." The dilemma of persecuted minorities in the region must now surely override any debate over using military power to defeat ISIL.
A case can be made that Al Qaeda is more potent now than it was when led by Osama bin Laden.
The first U.S. foreign policy problem is obvious: it's not working. We've been unable to bring democratic stability to the Middle East. The second problem is that Washington politicians are unwilling to explain why our foreign policy isn't working.
Unless President Obama pulls back quickly, his administration risks becoming absorbed in another interminable, unnecessary war in Mesopotamia with unpredictable but almost certainly negative consequences.
We have every reason to be concerned with the fate of the Christian communities of the Arab World. What is at stake is not just the survival of these important minorities; it is the future of the region, itself. Violent extremist groups like ISIS and their kin, pose an existential challenge not only to Christians, but to all Arabs and Muslims.
Unlike the neocons that ran Bush's failed foreign policy, President Obama is not going to be rushed into another ground war. He believes he needs a strong coalition, including Arab countries, and a more inclusive Iraqi government, to ensure a broader and more enduring solution.
At the start of classes one year ago, I was having to explain to my students why the United States appeared to be on the verge of going to war against the Syrian government. At the beginning of this semester, exactly one year later, I'm having to explain to my students why the United States may be on the verge of going to war against Syrian rebels.
The world's strongest military bombing terrorists back to the Stone Age isn't a strategy. And it isn't foreign policy. It's the kind of macho rhetoric that got us here in the first place.
The ISIS challenge is, at its core, a war of ideas. We need to recognize that while it is possible to destroy an ideology, doing so is not easy, and it cannot be done without an effective, fully supported counter message.
Until recently, U.S.-Saudi relations were at their worst. Today, things differ radically, as Washington returned to regional decision-making on the basis of the bilateral relationship with Riyadh and the moderates in Tehran. Something new is coming to the Middle East that might not be a bad thing, if the leaders concerned make good decisions.
Al Qaeda's (AQ's) declaration that it is starting a franchise in South Asia is no surprise at all, given the sheer number of Muslims in the region, and that it is being eclipsed by the Islamic State (IS) in the headlines.
We recently decided to have an extended email conversation addressing the Islamic State (ISIS) in Faisal's home country of Iraq, being called an "Uncle Tom" by white people, the existence -- or non-existence -- of a "moderate" Islam, and the one key factor needed to bring about a true Islamic reformation.
In our rush to return to war in Iraq we are playing into the Islamic State's hands, just as we played into the hands of al Qaeda in Iraq in 2004 and into Osama bin Laden's larger strategy with our morally disastrous Global War on Terror.
This is perhaps the greatest legacy of 9/11 and the two wars it spawned. A nation that, whiled honoring its dead, seeks to preserve more of its fighting men and women from being sent into harm's way to die for dubious causes.
President Barack Obama is a deliberate man, and he will act decisively when the time is right. His words were steel from Europe on the execution of Steven Sotloff: "We will not forget. Our reach is long. Justice will be served." So buckle in for the long ride folks.