Disclaimer: Please note that Erica Borghard’s comments are her own personal views, and do not represent the official positions of the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Army, or the Department of Defense.
The rise of ISIS and the spread of the Syrian civil war to Iraq have led to renewed discussions of U.S. intervention. Though Washington is regularly bombing ISIS targets, there is little in the way of viable on-the-ground support, and a much-vaunted U.S. training campaign for moderates has had difficulty finding acceptable trainees. Many of America’s allies are complicit in funding extremist groups within Syria, even if they oppose ISIS itself, while the White House continues to equivocate on whether it will negotiate with the Assad regime. America’s goals in Syria are unclear, and there is a broad consensus that the current U.S. approach — loosely defined as ‘degrading and destroying’ ISIS — is murky at best.
What is the United States trying to accomplish in Syria? Are its goals achievable with current strategies? Join our panelists as they discuss how we reached this point, and the extent to which the U.S. should or should not be involved in the ongoing conflict.