ISIS is close to defeat — but what comes next is a mess

July 7, 2017
ISIS is close to defeat — but what comes next is a mess

The good news is that, although hard fighting remains, the Islamic State’s caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been devastated. Soon, it will be entirely destroyed. Islamist terror will continue to gnaw societies around the world, but the vision of a totalitarian blood-cult ruling in the name of a gory god has been discredited among the Middle East’s Muslims and beyond. The bad news is that, with ISIS crushed as a quasi-state and conventional fighting force, we’ll face a new Persian Empire stretching to the Mediterranean — and bordering Israel. The trans-national Shia-Sunni religious war will return to prominence. Dysfunctional borders still will plague the region. Traditional U.S. allies will find


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