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Why Airstrikes in Syria Are Just the Beginning

Coalition airstrikes in Syria mark a significant shift in the Obama administration’s Middle East policy and overall national security strategy. These actions are just the opening barrages in a new and complicated battle that will require more than military action. A broad international and regional coalition will be needed, as President Barack Obama stressed in his statement Tuesday morning.

Advancing stability in the region and combating Islamic State militants will require a multifaceted effort involving diplomacy, strategic communications, and coordinated intelligence and law-enforcement efforts.

President Obama has outlined a sophisticated policy operating on many levels. With few compelling alternatives being put forth, the president’s plan is the only game in town. But every action will provoke a reaction–and it’s impossible to predict the impact of the strikes on the tenuous situation in the Middle East.

The above excerpt was originally published in Washington Wire.