Late last month, ISIS was driven out of the Syrian city of Kobani, thanks to over 100 days of US-led airstrikes and the actions of Kurdish fighters. But this could also be bad news for other parts of the country and potential targets abroad, as this Sunni extremist organization reorients its focus. What can we expect of ISIS in the coming months?
While these efforts are all necessary to the ultimate destruction of IS, sadly it is far from sufficient. As the George W. Bush administration failed to ask and answer the crucial "what next" question of what to do once Saddam Hussein and his army were overwhelmed, the Obama White House is repeating this act of strategic ignorance.
Critics of the coalition may see military action as a threat and think that it will only intensify the problem. However, such critics seem to be ignoring that it was the inaction towards the atrocities in Syria and the failed state in Iraq that resulted in the swelling of ISIS's ranks from a few hundred to nearly 30,000 according to the latest estimates.
In early August, ISIS forces attacked the Lebanese Syrian refugee border town of Arsal, provoking a major fire-fight with the Lebanese Army. Apparently, one of ISIS's major military commanders -- Imad Ahmad Jomaa -- had been apprehended inside the refugee camp (holding hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees) likely on a recruiting mission to create a fifth column of ISIS operatives inside Lebanon.