After Paris attacks, two opposing strategies seen as the way forward

Barry Strauss, an expert on global history, government and conflict, and chair of the department of history at Cornell University, says in the days ahead, the world will react to the Paris attacks with measured responses. However, further attacks by ISIS, may force leaders into all-out war.



Strauss says: 


“The Paris attacks pit two opposing strategies as the way forward. One strategy, rooted in a pessimistic view of human nature, sees the situation as a war requiring a military response. Recognizing that half-measures don’t win wars, it calls for an allied coalition and a ground war in Iraq and Syria to destroy ISIS.

“The other strategy, rooted in an optimistic view of human nature, sees terror attacks as simply another form of domestic violence that can be handled by a combination of better policing and smart and measured alliances with local actors in the Middle East.

“The first strategy calls for raising the temperature, the second for lowering it. The first strategy calls for rapid action, the second for slow steps forward.

“Politicians in democracies prefer not to act unless they have to, so in the days ahead we are likely to see more of the second strategy than the first: that is, measured responses rather than invasion.

“Look for more bombing raids, such as France’s attack on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, but no major military actions. Further attacks by ISIS, however, may force our leaders into all-out war.”



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