President Obama unveiled his strategy for confronting the violent extremists of ISIS on Wednesday: an additional 475 troops (bringing the total in Iraq to around 1,600) and an expansion of airstrikes.
American bombs cannot eliminate the threat of ISIS and will likely make the conflicts in Iraq and Syria worse. Fortunately, we have alternatives, and, while they lack the immediacy of bombing, they are ultimately far more effective in keeping America safe, protecting innocent lives and crippling violent extremists.
There are alternatives to bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria that are largely absent in the political debate. The alternatives require the U.S. to replace military action with a real international diplomatic response that will provide the political power, economic incentives and support for rebuilding a non-sectarian Iraq and ending the Syrian war.
Instead of going back to war in the Middle East, President Obama should have announced more effective ways to degrade ISIS. You can read our full analysis on non-military ways to combat ISIS on our website.