23 Sep 2014

PAX - Syria & Iraq Alert I: The Need for a Comprehensive Political Strategy to Counter ISIS

The sudden and unforeseen expansion of ISIS in Iraq and Syria over the summer has led to a 
dramatic shift on the ground in the Middle East, in Western public opinion, and subsequently in the 
involvement of the international community. Even though ISIS had been a threat to civilians in northern 
Syria and Iraq over the past year, the potential genocide of the Iraqi Yezidi community, the capture of 
Mosul, and the images of journalists and an aid worker being beheaded by an English-speaking jihad 
fighter have caused an urgent sense that the crisis in Iraq and Syria cannot be solved without direct 
international interference. 
PAX believes that the present predominantly military response of the US-led coalition against ISIS 
lacks a clear political strategy. A tactical military response that is not part of a comprehensive political 
strategy will lead to an open-ended military campaign with unclear goals, and is doomed to fail. The 
costs of setting unclear and moving targets are that violence is compounded while victory remains 
elusive. 

Please find full policy brief for PAX attached below: 
 
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