Ramzy Mardini, nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, recently wrote in The Washington Post about the possibility of the Obama administration’s overestimation of the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). It’s an interesting question.
He argues that recent gains such as the capture of Mosul in Iraq and the routing of Kurdish forces on Mount Sinjar perpetuate the perception of a dominant military force. Yet ISIS’s gains have now contributed to its isolation, encircled by hostile Shiite militias to the East, mobilized Kurds to the North, the Syrian regime, and Jordan to the West. In other words, there is nowhere left for it to go.