Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab writes for Newsweek on the need for an ISIS strategy review and how a bipartisan Middle East strategy review, in the model of the Atlantic Council’s bipartisan Middle East Strategy Task Force, could be a way forward:

It was January 25, 2009, I received a phone call from the White House. The operator said that the president of the United States was on the line, wanting to speak to my boss, Bruce Riedel. As soon as I alerted Bruce, he had a good feeling what the call was about. The United States was losing the war with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and Afghanistan was on the verge of collapse. U.S. strategy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan was in urgent need of a review, and President Barack Obama was told that there was no better South Asia and terrorism expert in town to lead it than Bruce.

Obama knew that an Afghanistan-Pakistan review would almost surely recommend an increase in U.S. troops which he wasn’t excited about. Having just pledged to the American people to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and focus on economic challenges at home, sending more American soldiers to Afghanistan was neither his preference nor on his political agenda. But he had no choice. South Asian security and the fight against the enemy that struck on 9/11, killing more than 3,000 Americans were both on the line. As for Bruce, he was done with government service, having served more than 30 years in the intelligence community, advising four different presidents on South Asia and the Middle East. But he had no choice either. He couldn’t decline the president’s request.

Read the full article here.