January 1, 2016

W DIDN'T LEAVE THE UR MUCH OF A WAR, BUT HE IS WINNING IT EASILY:

Mapped: The Islamic State Isn't Doing as Well as You Think (PAUL MCLEARY, DAN DE LUCE, C.K. HICKEY, DECEMBER 30, 2015, Foreign Policy)

The Islamic State began 2015 in control of vast swaths of Syria and Iraq and at one point this summer controlled three of Iraq's biggest cities. The terrorist group ends the year in far worse shape, with a U.S.-led air campaign hammering its fighters from the skies while Iraqi soldiers, Iranian paramilitary operatives, Shiite militias, Syrian rebels, and Kurdish Peshmerga battle them on the ground.

The map below shows where the Islamic State stands at year's end. In Syria, the militant group managed to seize Palmyra in May but elsewhere has been forced to give up a sizable stretch of land along the Turkish border in the face of a concerted push by Kurdish fighters backed up by U.S.-led air power. And in Iraq, Baghdad's slow-moving army has managed to score three significant victories, dislodging the Islamic State from Tikrit in March and Baiji in October, and this week wresting control of the pivotal western city of Ramadi back from the militants.

The most remarkable thing about the current phase of the WoT is that it's a casualty-free exercise for us.




MORE:
The Obama worldview : Obama has given US foreign policy something it sorely lacked-intellectual clarity (Robert Fry,  December 31, 2015, Foreign Policy)

Obama has pulled America back from its speculative adventures. Now, in the Middle East, the US is moving from the role of regional arbiter towards the role of regional mediator. By refusing to commit US ground troops in Syria, by conceding a role for Russia, by demanding that Saudi Arabia accept its responsibilities and by getting Iran back into the community of nations, Obama has created the possibility that the region--and Islam--might recognise the need to order its own affairs.

We lay down the rules, they do the fighting for us.

Posted by at January 1, 2016 5:13 PM

  

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