by Frederick W. Kagan
American Enterprise Institute
July 24, 2014
The expansion of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS) represents a step-change in the threat to American homeland security and national security generally. The Islamic State has declared its intention of attacking Americans and is actively recruiting U.S. and European passport holders. It has acquired radioactive material from Mosul University and many millions of dollars from raided banks. We have never seen an al Qaeda threat of this magnitude before and must face it squarely now – or face the consequences later. Some would rely on Iran to wage this fight on our behalf, yet Iran has categorically rejected cooperation with the U.S. Given the size and entrenchment of IS, a drone campaign, no matter how aggressive, cannot destroy the group. We face the unpalatable choice of sending at least some ground troops to Iraq or watching the consolidation of the first-ever effective al Qaeda state and army.

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