The Islamic State has lost the battle for Mosul. Raqqa will be next to fall. But is the so-called caliphate dead — and who are the winners?
- By Ben PaukerBen Pauker is executive editor, online, at Foreign Policy. Ben came to FP in May 2010 from World Policy Journal, where he was managing editor from 2007 to 2010. A native of New York, he grew up in Brazil, Australia, and Thailand and has written for Harper’s, the Economist, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He is the co-founder of the Gastronauts, the world’s largest adventurous-eating club, and, in the course of reporting but mainly to see if it was possible, has smuggled small arms out of Central Africa.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory, celebrating the retaking of Mosul from Islamic State fighters by Iraqi troops. Most experts agree Raqqa will be next. But while the battle to reclaim territory from the Islamic State may be closer to an end, it invariably creates more regional questions as unlikely allies and longtime adversaries struggle with the vacuum left behind.
On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for the web, Ben Pauker, is joined by Robert Malley and Renad Mansour, two of the FP contributors featured in the online symposium, What Comes After ISIS? FP’s David Kenner joins the panel from Beirut to discuss the potential regional fallout. Have the geopolitical issues that aided the formation of the caliphate been resolved? And what happens to the millions of civilians left behind?
Robert Malley is the vice president for policy at the International Crisis Group. He previously served as special assistant to President Barack Obama and White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf region from 2015 to 2016. Follow him on Twitter: @Rob_Malley.
Renad Mansour is a fellow at Chatham House, and the author of the recent paper, Iraq After the Fall of ISIS: The Struggle for the State. Follow him on Twitter: @@renadmansour.
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