REUTERS/Stringer - A resident of Tabqa city touring the streets on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, in nearby Raqqa city August 24, 2014.
ISIS and the New Middle East Cold War
August 25, 2014,
F. Gregory Gause, III considers how the territorial gains this summer by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have played into the new Middle East cold war. He argues that ISIS is an outgrowth of a region-wide crisis that reflects the failure of state authorities to be able to control their borders and their territories, to provide services to their populations and, ultimately, to forge a common political identity that could be the basis of political community. Sustaining a temporary alliance against ISIS is not easy, but it is a much simpler task than having to deal with a consolidated jihadist state at the center of the Middle East.