U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, have been an important step to contain the rise of the extremist group, respond to immediate threats to U.S. citizens in Iraq, and prevent possible acts of genocide. These airstrikes enabled Iraqis to resist ISIS and bought time for the Iraqi government to begin building a more inclusive administration under a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi. But as the Center for American Progress noted in a June report, U.S. military action needs to be just one part of a long-term multinational political and security strategy in the region.
The new strategy should aim to contain and degrade ISIS and enable regional partners to continue to build the tools needed to defeat ISIS’s movement with international support. This report outlines actions to advance three core strategic goals:
- Contain and degrade the threat ISIS poses to the Middle East region and global security
- Alleviate the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of Syrians and Iraqis
- Restore the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria
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