Brutality is a defining characteristic of the Islamic State. For many, that fuels rage and a desire to strike at the group in any way possible. To assess where brutality might lead the Islamic State and what the U.S. can do about it requires working through the disgust to understand brutality’s purpose.
Earlier this month, following Australia’s lead, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed prohibiting travel to terrorism hot spots like Iraq and Syria. But a travel ban is likely to be ineffective and even counterproductive in dealing with homegrown terrorism and the flow of foreign fighters.
While Iran has not abandoned its long-term nuclear aspirations, the nuclear issue is likely to be on the back burner for the foreseeable future if the Iran deal is sealed. In these circumstances, Israel, after repairing its ties with the U.S., faces three primary challenges in a rapidly changing Middle East.