7 articles you need to read about ISIS

A collection of the best content on ISIS from New America.
Blog Post
Sept. 22, 2014

On September 10, President Obama announced his strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. During the speech, the President claimed that he would “degrade and destroy” ISIS, wherever they may be. In addition, the President announced a “broad coalition” to join the United States in the fight to defeat the Islamic State. Here are seven articles from New America that explain the history of ISIS, and offer solutions for what to do next.

Will Obama’s ISIS Strategy Actually Worsen the Terror Threat? - by Robert Wright, The Weekly Wonk (9 minutes)

Last week, the President announced his plan to defeat ISIS, claiming it was necessary to defeat the jihadist organization because it’s a domestic terrorism threat. But doesn’t this plan forget that the biggest attacks since 9/11 have been homegrown terrorism?

Containing ISI - By Brian Fishman, The Weekly Wonk (6 mins)

To defeat your enemy, you must know your enemy. But how did ISIS become so powerful? In this article, counter-terrorism expert Brian Fishman gives background on how the jihadist organization came to control swathes of territory in Iraq.

Iraq, Revisited (Again) - The Weekly Wonk (7 mins)

We ask six experts: How can the United States defeat ISIL? Respondents include former Ambassador to Ukraine Stephen Pifer, former CIA Officer Bruce Riedel, and New America CEO and President Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Don’t Fight in Iraq and Ignore Syria - Anne-Marie Slaughter, The New York Times (7 mins)

Why should the United States fight in Iraq and ignore Syria? Allowing ISIS to travel into Syria and use it as a safe haven is a strategic error, argues Anne Marie Slaughter in this New York Times op-ed.

The Reality of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - Douglas Ollivant and Brian Fishman, War on the Rocks (7 mins)

Written before the advancement of ISIS in Fallujah and Mosul, Ollivant and Fishman analyze the group’s take over in Fallujah, and conclude that ISIS is more than a state in name – it controls actual territory.

Defeating ISIS Requires a New Sunni Awakening - Col. (Ret.) Derek Harvey and Michael Pregent, New America (21 mins)

How can we defeat the Islamic State? One strategy could echo the U.S. playbook during the 2007 Sunni Awakening: convincing moderate Sunni groups to turn against the Islamic State.

Is ISIS really a threat to the US? - Peter Bergan and David Sterman, CNN (6 mins)

U.S. officials are claiming that the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is "now a credible alternative to al Qaeda." But after analysis, the idea that foreign jihadists would travel to the United States, and more importantly gain the tools to attack the homeland, are less likely than you would think.