ISIS is stronger today than its predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was in 2011, when the U.S. withdrew from Iraq. ISIS’s insurgency will grow because areas it has lost in Iraq and Syria are still neither stable nor secure. Its successful reconstitution of a physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria would produce new waves of ISIS attacks. Read the assessment of the risks that lie ahead in a new ISW report.
Russia poses a significant threat to the United States and its allies for which the West is not ready. Its unconventional warfare and information operations pose daunting but not insuperable challenges. The West must act urgently to meet this threat without exaggerating it. The U.S. and its allies need a coherent global approach to meeting and transcending the Russian challenge.
The Kremlin may decide to push Serbia to escalate militarily against Kosovo—a move that would likely end the normalization talks, fully pull Serbia into Russia’s orbit, and limit Kosovo’s integration prospects with the West.
Join ISW and the Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan, Connecticut on June 18th for a discussion on the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and their importance to U.S. national security and values, including human dignity and freedom.
The latest Syria Situation Report map includes coverage of pro-Assad attacks, Iran's activities along the Syria-Iraq border, local backlash against SDF, and al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria operating in Idlib Province.
European leaders are struggling to restart much-needed talks between Kosovo and Serbia. The Kremlin sees the current tensions as an opportunity to exploit for its own strategic gains. The latest in the Russian campaign in the Balkans is covered in ISW's Russia in Review update.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) do not have adequate resources to detain the suspected 9,000 ISIS fighters and 63,000 ISIS family members currently housed in a network of detention facilities and internally displaced persons camps.
The latest Russia in Review Intelligence Summary (INTSUM) examines how a political deadlock in Moldova following parliamentary elections is playing into Russia's designs in a critical part of Eastern Europe.
With Volodymyr Zelensky's rise to power in Ukraine, the Kremlin likely sees an opportunity to gradually regain Russian economic and political influence in Ukraine. Other key constituencies with agendas that will disrupt Ukraine's reform path also perceive opportunities in this critical moment.