Unpacking the ISIS War Game: Preparing for Escalation

Welcome by:
Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
Atlantic Council

A discussion with:
Frederick Kempe
President and CEO
Atlantic Council

Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.)
Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies
Center for Strategic and International Studies;
Board Director
Atlantic Council

Bilal Y. Saab
Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Atlantic Council

Julianne Smith
Senior Fellow and Director, Strategy and Statecraft Program
Center for a New American Security

Moderated by:
Gideon Rose
Foreign Affairs

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The current US strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS has achieved important tactical successes, but Washington is still far from achieving its stated goals. Even more, the strategy has not yet been fully tested by ISIS. However, events on the ground over the past few months suggest that the likelihood of escalation on the part of ISIS is increasing. Conventional as well as terrorist attacks by ISIS in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon suggest that it may be only a matter of time before the movement attacks core US strategic interests in the region.  

An off-the-record, high-level war game recently conducted at the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative challenged US strategy by analyzing two hypothetical scenarios in which ISIS resorted to escalation. How can Washington and its allies and partners in the coalition better prepare for these contingencies? 

Please join the Atlantic Council on Thursday, February 26 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a discussion on the key findings from the war game and the strategic implications of potential ISIS escalation for the US-led coalition. 


February 26, 2015
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

This event is on-the-record and open to press. Be sure to follow the conversation at @AtlanticCouncil with #ACMidEast.

Visiting the Council: Metro and parking info