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ISIS has lost its territory in Syria and is no longer able to conduct large-scale internal or external attacks. Nonetheless, the organization has been able to regroup, continues to generate funds through its illicit activities, and has resumed low-level operations.
The United States and its partners must solidify gains against ISIS, particularly as the possibility looms of a further drawdown of US troops in Syria. Active combat against the group is winding down. It is now necessary to prevent a future ISIS resurgence by finding ways to keep up the pressure while also tackling the root causes of the wider unrest. What challenges remain for US and European policymakers in order to eliminate an ISIS revival? What support is still needed for local partners and communities to ensure they are not at risk from ISIS again?
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative
Director, Defeat-ISIS Task Force Office of the Secretary of Defense,
US Department of Defense
Ambassador for the Negotiations on Syria and Head of Division for Syria, Iraq, Lebanon & Anti-ISIS Strategy
German Federal Foreign Office
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
MENASource Aug 4, 2020
Three years after the Caliphate, Iraq’s Christians find little incentive to return
By Paul Gadalla
The region’s few remaining Christians find themselves caught between Iran-backed Shia militias and an Iraqi government that, nearly twenty years after the American invasion, is politically paralyzed and still unable to provide basic security and services—let alone protect the country’s embattled minority populations.
MENASource Jul 17, 2020
Kadhimi’s moment: Controlling Iraq’s militias
By C. Anthony Pfaff
The July 6, 2020 assassination of Hisham al Hashimi, a well-known political analyst who criticized Iraq’s sectarian politics, represented the loss of someone who made meaningful contributions to Iraq’s recovery and reconciliation efforts towards recovery and reconciliation. Hashimi’s death also represented an escalation that threatens to bring back the gang-like violence Iraq experienced from 2004 to 2008.
MENASource May 1, 2020
Have COVID-19 and Iran tensions doomed Coalition anti-ISIS strategy?
By Seth Frantzman
After five years of a successful campaign against ISIS, the Coalition may be permanently crippled by tensions with Iran. Furthermore, the pandemic may serve as a convenient excuse for partners to wrap up their presence in Iraq.