Trump Is Wrong, ISIS Isn’t Defeated. But It Poses a Limited Threat

An Iraqi soldier watches smoke rise after an airstrike by U.S.-led coalition warplanes against ISIS, on the border between Syria and Iraq in Qaim, Anbar province, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
An Iraqi soldier watches smoke rise after an airstrike by U.S.-led coalition warplanes against ISIS, on the border between Syria and Iraq in Qaim, Anbar province, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

During the 2016 U.S. presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump didn’t talk much about the specifics of foreign and national security policy, with one exception: a pledge to defeat the Islamic State. Once elected, Trump ramped up the anti-ISIS military campaign that President Barack Obama had begun and increased support to local militias in Syria, including many Syrian Kurds, and security forces in Iraq. Eventually, this paid off. Through a grueling campaign led by the militias and the Iraqis, the Islamic State lost most of the territory it controlled in both Iraq and Syria. A month ago, Trump declared victory. “We […]

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