It took over 15 years of both hard and soft power from the international community to eventually sort out the situation on the ground in Bosnia. [...] Unfortunately, solving the problems in Syria will take at least that long given the underlying Sunni-Shiite conflict overlaid by the atrocities of the past five years.
The tripartite nature of the Islamic State creates a policy dilemma. On the one hand, it is important to use hard military power to deprive the caliphate of the territory that provides it both sanctuary and legitimacy. But if the American military footprint is too heavy, the Islamic State’s soft power will be strengthened, thus aiding its global recruiting efforts.
Javad Rad says the U.S. is "betting on the wrong horse" in the Middle East.
Although the Saudis like to emphasize their independence from U.S. policy, Western analysts say their actions thus far have not seriously challenged Western strategic interests in the region. The airstrikes in Yemen, for example, have not jeopardized the multinational nuclear talks.
Iran is ready to help Iraq fight an armed revolt using the same methods it deployed against opposition forces in Syria, an Iranian general said, suggesting Tehran is offering to take a larger role in battling Sunni militias threatening Baghdad.
The price of Maliki's inaction toward Iraqi Sunnis was poor public diplomacy.
With the current sectarian climate in the Middle East, it is rare to find events that host voices from across the region's sectarian and religious divides. But just a few days ago, a small window opened up in Doha. British-Yemeni journalist Abubakr al-Shamahi reports.