Reflections

Against the Islamic State, the U.S. Focuses on the Battle, Not the War

Mar 22, 2017 | 22:58 GMT
In preparation for the battle to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed group comprising Kurdish and Arab fighters, has begun its campaign to isolate the city.
In preparation for the battle to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed group comprising Kurdish and Arab fighters, has begun its campaign to isolate the city.
(DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

During his campaign for office, U.S. President Donald Trump promised a plan to defeat the Islamic State. Now, his administration is taking steps to deliver on that promise. On Wednesday, the global coalition to counter the Islamic State held its first meeting since the Trump administration took power -- and its first congress with representatives from all 68 members since mid-2016. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson opened the session, held at State Department headquarters in Washington, by declaring the fight against the Islamic State as the United States' chief priority in the Middle East. But notably absent from the meeting's agenda was a clear answer to arguably the most important question hanging over the campaign to oust the jihadist group from Iraq and Syria: What happens after the military operations in Mosul and Raqqa?...

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