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What are the strengths of ISIS?The European diplomat, stationed in the Middle East, travels in and out of Syria and has access to regime and opposition forces. He agrees with the consensus that ISIS has gained considerable economic and military strength in recent months. The ISIS military strategy is brutal but also smart. ISIS could be defeated, he says, but it would take a comprehensive and sustained strategy, much like the one that undergirded the surge in Iraq.If this continues, the next step will be to create the most powerful and effective ground force that can take on ISIS – which would not be the Free Syrian Army but rather a reconstituted Iraqi army.The temptation to gain immediate military victories over ISIS could mean that the U.S. would end up tacitly partnering with the Assad regime in Syria.The strategy that could work against ISIS is nothing less than a second Sunni Awakening.
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