Will an expanded mission to strike James Foley's killers in Syria be an effective way in defeating IS ? Aaron David Miller writes about the downsides of striking IS in Syria, and why the president is increasingly likely to do so.
“As the U.S. nears 100 airstrikes, it’s still unclear how far Washington is prepared to go to deal with those threats or what its long-term strategy may be… there’s certainly very little guidance in those CENTCOM emails about how much difference these U.S. airstrikes are making,” writes Robin Wright.
Was the sudden rise of the Islamic State insurgents, to use a loaded term, an “intelligence failure?” No, it wasn't writes Jane Harman. But no quantity of intelligence can fill the vacuum of a missing strategy.
"This carnage should be an opportunity for Washington to work with responsible actors in the region. Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council countries should take the lead and provide humanitarian and military aid in the form of air power and ground troops to defeat and uproot ISIS, as it is already a coming attraction for Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
Who is winning the war in Gaza? Aaron David Miller writes that while it's still too early to say, for now, here's how he would score the performance of the five major parties to this crisis: Israel, Hamas, the PA, Egypt, and the United States.
"Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post’s correspondent in Iran, was arrested in Tehran on July 22 almost certainly not because of anything he had written, but because the hard-liners among Iran’s ruling elite seek to embarrass and weaken President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
"I worked as a U.S. negotiator on the Arab-Israeli conflict for almost 20 years, and nobody ever lost money betting against peace," writes Aaron David Miller. "When mediators do succeed, it's largely because the locals are ready for a deal – and a need a third party."
As Secretary of State John Kerry implores an end to the current crisis in the Middle East, violence continues in the region. Jane Harman joins NOW With Alex Wagner to discuss on MSNBC.
Netanyahu has now laid out a different vision for an acceptable endgame -- the "demilitarization" of Gaza, writes Aaron David Miller. Is he serious and is a demilitarized Gaza really possible?
Transcript for a panel discussion on the challenges of researching and writing on recent Middle East history.