In the aftermath of the horrific ISIS-attributed terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, and the downing of the Russian passenger plane, I continued to share my thoughts on the way NATO and the international community should respond. We’re beginning to see real depth in the threat posed by the Islamic State—they are sophisticated, dangerous and clearly able to reach across country borders.

France’s bombing of Raqqa is a symbolic response, and a start, but there’s a lot more to be done. The long game, of course, is integration through jobs,  development and economics. But there also is a time for hard power, and that time is now, as I discussed with CNN New Day:

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As I said last week, France ought to invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which will warrant a holistic response from the alliance against the Islamic State. I discussed this possibility with NPR, and then I identified eight steps to take down ISIS, including the hard work of coalition building, in my OpEd in TIME Magazine:

“The hard part will be drafting a military campaign plan to meld together disparate forces into a coherent fighting force. This will require cultural understanding, patience, ingenuity, determination and—above all—leadership. Each of the nations will probably come with so-called “caveats,” which will restrict their forces from certain activities. They will all have different capabilities, cultures, languages, supply systems, value sets and plenty of other differences. Coalition warfare is not for the faint of heart.”

I also shared my thoughts on the way NATO must respond to these terrorist attacks with Bloomberg Surveillance, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, BBC HARDtalk and MSNBC’s Live with Thomas Roberts:


Bloomberg Surveillance


Morning Joe on MSNBC




MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts

Furthermore, we must involve Russia in the fight against ISIS, and this moment is the opportunity, as I discussed with Shepard Smith of Fox News:


Shepard Smith on Fox News

It’s also important to remember that in order to solve the crisis in Syria, we must act politically as well as militarily. In The Huffington Post, I outlined six specific steps to achieving a diplomatic solution in Syria:

“Let’s face it — bombing and pure hard power will not resolve the overall problem in Syria. The Syrian civil war was generated by the collision of the ideals of the Arab Spring and the totalitarian regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. If all we do is destroy the Islamic State — admittedly job one at the moment, other terrorist organizations will spring up in what would continue to be an ungoverned space. We need a coherent political solution, which will best be constructed through diplomacy, not the war rooms of the Pentagon, NATO and Moscow. We need both hard power against ISIS but also smart power to solve the complex web of challenges in Syria.”

Finally, I commented on the controversy surrounding the United States’ acceptance of Syrian refugees with The Financial Times:

“We should continue to take a substantial number of Syrian refugees because it is the right thing to do for the international community and because over time they will prove to be citizens of real capability and true grit, like many who immigrated before them in troubled times…The key is serious vetting using all the tools at our disposal.”

Thank you.

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