ISIS Is Near Collapse… So What — and Who — Comes Next?

Iraq and Syria remain vulnerable: Former director of White House National Security Council.

Experts clearly predicted the rise of ISIS and our government did nothing to stop it—and now there is a chance that history could be repeating.

In 2012, Robert Ford, then-ambassador to Syria, had eyes on the ground as that country’s fledgling civil war showed a disturbing potential to spiral beyond the borders and leave a vacuum.  He warned both the White House and Congress that an al-Qaeda-like group would seize and hold large swaths of territory, even major cities on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.

He was ignored.

ISIS, starting as a marginal off-shoot of al-Qaeda, filled that void through their extreme violence and discipline. And in the process, the group has been responsible for the deaths of likely well over 100,000 people, committed over 70 terrorist acts in 20 countries (not counting Iraq and Syria), and set off massive refugee flows that have destabilized the Middle East and Europe.

But ISIS’s days are numbered. As you read this, Iraqi special operators are slugging it out with ISIS snipers and child suicide bombers to capture what remains of ISIS’ Iraq capital: Mosul. Meanwhile, in neighboring Syria, a coalition of US-backed Kurdish and Arab militiamen, collectively known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, are getting ready to storm Raqqa, the capital of ISIS in Syria.

…continue reading

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