A strategy of political openness and economic opportunity must be put hand-in-hand with the military campaign against the Islamic State.
Jordan’s revenge marks a major shift in the war against the Islamic State and is likely to change the nature of the actors in the Syrian conflict.
The fight against the Islamic State is an ideological battle as much as it is a military one.
The execution of Kasasbeh could catalyze increased criticism of Jordan’s government for its involvement in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State—a decision taken at the highest levels of the state with neither transparency, public involvement, nor parliamentary approval.
The Islamic State needs to be fought militarily, but the underlying causes of frustration and marginalization also have to be addressed.
Jordan’s participation in the fight against the Islamic State, particularly outside its borders, is problematic to some Jordanians. With the pilot hostage situation, the government is caught between two very bad situations.
Members of the Jordanian pilot’s tribe have protested in Amman, pressuring the government to agree to an exchange.
Jordan has been deeply concerned about the effect of Syria’s civil war on its security. It has taken several counterterrorism measures, but its strategy in combating the threat of radicalism has been flawed.
This all-day conference examined the local and regional roots of the growing violence, fragmentation, and instability gripping the Middle East today.
Many Arab governments are fueling the very extremism they purport to fight and looking for U.S. cover. Washington should play the long game.