My friend Chris Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at The Cato Institute, offers a progress report on the steady dismantlement of ISIL.
A number of ISIL leaders have been killed by U.S. airstrikes, and its control over territory in Iraq and Syria is slipping away.
The sources of revenue that it had exploited — from the resources in the ground to the money it extorted from the people trapped under its brutal rule — are drying up.
Now, with ISIL’s losses mounting, some fear it will return to its roots, organizing or inspiring attacks in the region and beyond. That problem is best handled by the same approaches used against other terrorist organizations over the decades: applying persistent pressure on the group’s leaders, and attacking its ability to attract new recruits and raise funds.
The U.S. military has a role to play here, but killing terrorists doesn’t require placing tens of thousands of U.S. troops into the middle of the Middle East’s ongoing civil wars.