Andrew Bacevich thinks that more Mideast Whack-a-Mole is not the answer. A snippet.
The Islamic State emerged from a set of nontrivial conditions afflicting many nations across the greater Middle East. Figuring prominently among those conditions are political dysfunction, economic underdevelopment and social alienation, along with the pernicious residue of European colonialism still lingering everywhere from arbitrary borders to thieving local elites. Those so inclined can throw into the mix the ongoing plight of the Palestinian people.
The key point is this: Were the United States and its partners miraculously to succeed tomorrow in destroying the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr Baghdadi, those conditions would still persist. As a consequence, another “Islamic State,” under another banner, inspired by a new leader, would almost certainly appear. And we’ll find ourselves right back where we are today. Indeed, Islamic State is itself a legacy organization, successor to the now defunct al-Qaida in Iraq.
He’s quite right, you know. Causes lead to effects. Fighting effects does not affect the causes.