Retired General John Allen, who currently serves as President Obama’s envoy in the global fight against ISIS, pushed back against assertions that the United States is losing its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL). He said that while the fight will be a long lone, progress is being made. He pointed in particular to the situation in Iraq as evidence of success.
At the same time, efforts by the United States and its allies to combat ISIS’s growing influence are complicated by the situation in Syria. Over the weekend, the Russian government announced it was stepping up its support for the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, who is also fighting against ISIS but has been isolated by the West due to human rights abuses in the country. But the situation in Syria is complicated. While the United States and its allies oppose the Bashir government and support Syrian rebels, Russia supports the Syrian government. And both the Syrian government and the United States and its allies are fighting against ISIS. News that ISIS is likely making and using chemical weapons in its fight further complicates the situation.
What do you think? Is the United States losing its fight against ISIS? Why? How does the situation in Syria complicate the struggle against ISIS? What, if anything, should the United States change in its strategy to fight ISIS to more quickly and effectively achieve its foreign policy goals?