What Will Come After Paris
The Editorial Board – The New York Times
Until the latest spate of ISIS attacks, America’s focus on that terrorist organization as the primary enemy had not been fully shared by Russia, which has used its military actions more to defend its ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. But there have been several promising moves of late toward greater cooperation.
At a meeting in Vienna on Saturday, representatives of more than a dozen countries with an urgent interest in ending the Syrian war, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, agreed on a tentative plan for a phased transition to an interim government and elections in Syria….
The attacks in Paris sent a major shockwave around the world, and the Beirut bombings and the downing of the Russian civilian jetliner were every bit as horrific. ISIS has demonstrated that there is no limit to its reach, and no nation is really safe until they all come together to defeat this scourge.
Formulating a Policy Response in Anger Is Probably Not the Best Way to Defeat ISIS
Daniel V. Drezner – The Washington Post
While the calls to “do something” grow louder and louder, it would be worth it for everyone to take a very deep breath and consider just the facts.
FACT 1: There is a reason those running the executive branch don’t say “radical Islam.”BloombergView’s Eli Lake pointed out back in January of this year that Obama’s reluctance to use the term echoes George W. Bush’s reluctance to use the term, and there’s a pretty good reason for that reluctance….
When you hear candidates using this terminology, bear in mind that they’re essentially saying that they want to fight radical Islam without many of the United States’ traditional allies in the Middle East. And good luck with that crusade.
FACT 2: Defeating ISIS on the ground in Syria and Iraq is not the No. 1 priority of any nation other than France….
FACT 3: ISIS is not winning in the Middle East. It is so easy after attacks like the ones in Paris for the media to talk about the forward momentum of ISIS, but an astringent look at ISIS’s current position suggests that it’s in a defensive crouch.
President Obama’s statement on the night of the Paris attacks:
Paris Attacks: What is the Sensible Response to This Horrific Act?
The Editorial Board – Los Angeles Times
This page has supported Obama’s call for “a steady, relentless effort” against Islamic State using air power and relying on actions of local forces — but not U.S. “boots on the ground.” Horrific as Friday’s attacks were, they shouldn’t lead to a sudden, reactive lurch in U.S. policy.
That doesn’t mean that the U.S. and its allies shouldn’t continue to search for ways to recalibrate the current campaign against Islamic State to make it more effective. A new strategy may also require increased vigilance about the infiltration of potential terrorists. But that mustn’t lead to the scapegoating of refugees who in many cases are fleeing Islamic State.
Not for the first time, a small but determined group of terrorists has been able to exploit the openness of Western society to commit murder and mayhem on a monstrous scale. Nations such as France and the United States need to find a way to respond to that asymmetric threat without curtailing civil liberties or closing their borders.