When Jan. 20, 2017, rolls around, the odds are high that the new U.S. President will find on her or his plate the job of finding, fixing and killing ISIS. An organization that revels in its horrific theater of enslavement, human trafficking, torture and mass murder is too venal to be allowed to survive in any form. The bigger question is how to take on what has already proved to be a difficult task? And what is the appropriate role for the U.S.?First, we need to win militarily in Iraq, cutting off the financial fuel that flows from enslaved and taxed populations in Mosul, Fallujah and other parts of Iraq.
Second, in syria, the complex set of facts on the ground dictate a special-forces campaign but will ultimately require a political and diplomatic settlement.
The third key element in defeating ISIS is to smother its sources of funding.
Fourth, the war must be carried out online as well.
Fifth, we must cut off the already diminishing flow of new recruits to ISIS.
A final issue for the new President to consider after the fall of ISIS is the long-term future of Syria.