Salient to Investors:

  • Mark Lynch at George Washington University said history shows that in a chaotic, violent civil war such as in Syria, US intervention would have had little effect other than to extend and exacerbate the conflict.
  • David Kilcullen at Caerus Associates said American air power will successfully blunt any further expansion of ISIS to capture cities but to roll them back from where they are now with air power alone will be very difficult. Kilcullen said ISIS is the greater threat than Assad.
  • Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations said ISIS is a global threat, not just a Middle Eastern threat, while Assad is only a local threat. Haass said that, unlike al Qaeda, ISIS is not content just to destroy but wants to create, which is dangerous for us and all the people in the Middle East.
  • Emma Sky at Yale said that the only people who can defeat ISIS are Sunnis and they are a long way from that. Sky said ordinary people across the Middle East want what all people want – to live in safety, to send their kids to school, to be able to earn a living.
  • Shadi Hamid at Brookings said the rise of ISIS is tied more to the Syrian civil war and Assad is the root cause of the problem – in some ways it is too late and the costs are tremendous. Hamid said groups like ISIS are perfect for dictators, who can point to them as the alternative.
  • Pew Research Center said Singapore has the religious diversity, Vatican City the lowest, the US ranked only 68th out of 232, behind France and Bahrain.

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