The Perils of a Post-ISIS Middle East

To defeat the Islamic State, Washington has cultivated ties with groups at odds with each other. What happens when their common foe is gone?

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Photo: Sgt. Lisa Soy/U.S. Central Command
Media Outlet: The Atlantic

Joshua Geltzer wrote for the Atlantic about how the U.S. can manage its intentional policy ambiguities in a post-ISIS Middle East:

There are four chief strategic ambiguities Washington has perpetuated, partly because they’ve proven useful—perhaps even essential—to the campaign against ISIS. While some predated the campaign and others arose from it, they’ve already proven victims of its success. As these ambiguities prove unsustainable, the United States may be forced to do something very hard where Middle East policy is concerned: disappoint some who thought they could rely on Washington, and prepare for confrontation with others with whom it has tried to delay outright conflict.


Joshua Geltzer is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. He is writing a book exploring challenges associated with modern communications technologies such as social media platforms, file-upload sites, and internet search engines.