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Treat ISIS Like an Artichoke

Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission.

The recent carnage in Brussels underscores the horrific consequences of ISIS (also known as Daesh) spreading around the globe. Such attacks will likely continue so long as ISIS flourishes in its territorial bases of Iraq and particularly Syria. To stop ISIS’s machinery of global terror, Washington, in concert with the international community, must stop the machinery of the Syrian war. And a diplomatic approach, rather than bombing raids, must take center stage.

Make no mistake: Bombs can and do kill ISIS fighters. But like ripping off a starfish’s leg, the bombs can’t stop ISIS from recouping its loss. ISIS derives its power from overlapping layers of political and financial support. While many of these layers include recruits and other actors far from the ISIS ideological core, the layers are bound together by resistance to both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s mass killing and foreign military intervention.

In short, to get to the heart of the ISIS crisis, we must press our elected officials and other policy makers to treat ISIS like an artichoke. The most promising way to deal with ISIS is to strip off its overlapping layers of recruits, weapons, and political and financial support. Those layers have to be carefully peeled off, rather than beaten by a club into a mushy mess.

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Article by Kate Gould.

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