The Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project conducted an intensive multi-week exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to defeat the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. This first report examines America’s global grand strategic objectives as they relate to ISIS and al Qaeda and considers the nature of those enemy groups in depth and in their global context.
Key Takeaway: The ongoing Vienna process will likely fail to end the Syrian Civil War because it does not provide adequate incentives to Syria’s powerful armed opposition factions to lay down arms. The Vienna process relies on agreements made between international powerbrokers independent from the demands of both pro- and anti-regime Syrian factions.
In response to Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet on November 24, 2015, Russia deployed its most advanced surface-to-air missile system to Bassel al-Assad International Airport in Latakia Province, eastern Syria. The S-400 SAM system is capable of contesting most of the airspace over Syria, southern Turkey, northern Jordan, a significant portion of Israel, as well as all of Lebanon and Cyprus. This map shows the potential reach of the S-400 missiles stationed in Latakia which have an effective range of up to 250 miles (400km).
This map shows the potential reach of the S-400 missiles stationed in Latakia which have an effective range of up to 250 miles (400km). At 250 miles, the S-400 is able to track and target aircraft based at numerous United States and Allied Coalition airbases (including Incirlik Airbase) in the region.