The alternative path, that is, trying to find “quick and cheap fixes” based on overly-optimistic assessments of the organization’s chances of survival, will most likely lead to either ineffective, or, worse, counterproductive policies, laying the background for the next, and probably the bigger and badder, challenge to regional and international security. A “realistic” assessment of the situation requires that we, at a minimum, neither treat our own expectations and benchmarks about the organization as those of its core audiences, nor deny such audiences the sense of realism we claim for ourselves.
Burak Kadercan is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Policy at the United States Naval War College. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and specializes in territorial and religious conflicts, the relationship between state-formation and production of military power, and empires. At the Naval War College, Kadercan lectures on the Islamic State as well as the legacies of the Ottoman Empire on present-day politics of the Middle East. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect those of the Naval War College, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.