Until and unless the U.S. has leadership that is as determined, disciplined and focused as is found in the newly established caliphate, we may find the 21st century being overwhelmed and subjugated by the 7th century.
What is a constant here is that there is a Saudi-Egyptian-Emirati strategic relationship with important regional dimensions, and this deserves appreciation, at least for what it represents in the regional balance of power and as a bulwark against the projects led by radical Islamist groups.
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.
In short, the War on Terror at home has not changed at all, but the war abroad has, and it is this factor that presents the U.S. with a rare opportunity.
During the past few weeks on Mt. Sinjar, we have seen both the worst and the best of what humanity can do.
CNN was interviewing someone named Mike Baker who was identified as "a former CIA covert operations officer." The interview was about the United States beginning to fly surveillance missions over Syria.
The youth have the ability to share the raw truth of a story as they struggle to understand the events unfolding before their eyes. They have the ability to bring adults into a youthful frame of reference, one that may perhaps lead to bridging borders instead of dropping bombs.
At what point do mistakes aggregate into something evil? At the very least, do they prevent us from claiming the mantle of good? And, of course, it's not just the mistakes that are problematic but also the deliberate policies that, for instance, align Washington with dictators and other murderous actors.
For thousands of children in Syria, summer vacation is no longer about taking a break from their hectic school lives. On the contrary, with displacement and violence regularly interrupting normal classes, many children around the country used their summer break to visit school clubs and catch up on lost school days.
The recent beheading of freelance journalist James Foley (pictured above) by militants from the Islamic State highlights the growing dangers that freelance reporters covering conflict zones face.
Consider the cases of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Bahrain. They are not democracies by any meaningful definition of the term; they are all committing grave violations of human rights; and yet we are not seeking to overthrow their governments.
Given the current momentum of ISIS and stated intentions to expand its caliphate, it may well attempt to increase its activity in northwest Syria and southern Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and southern Turkey.
We need to stem the tide of those who are going to become foreign fighters--taking a long hard look at what their motivations are and what we can do about them and also stopping the instigators inside our countries--particularly in Europe to be stopped.
If there is any lesson to be learnt from history, it is that political alliances always shift according to self-interest. This is also apparent in playground politics between children - you change friends and foes according to benefits.
The United States must ensure a viable multilateral alternative to its hegemony in the Middle East. It must use its super-power status to empower allies and regional players to assume greater authority.
Sometimes, amid the heated political debate about what should done by the U.S. government in world affairs, a proposal cuts through the TV babble of the supposed experts with a clear, useful suggestion.