The Oberlin Review

What Can We Do About Foreign ISIL Fighters?

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

November 15, 2019

 After eight years of bloody conflict in Syria, numerous brutal and horrific urban battles, and the slaughter of thousands of members of Iraq and Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities, the infamously brutal Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant finally appears to be subdued. The terrorist group once controlled territory spanning from the rich oil fields of Northern Iraq to the urban and rural heartlands of Eastern Syria. Now, most of ISIL’s living fighters sit captive in holding camps throughout the Syrian northeast — an area that’s controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces — and in the prison cells of the Iraqi judicial system. Now that major campaigns against the terrorist organization have concluded,...

Cyclical Intervention Leaves Syria in Tatters

Leo Hochberg, Contributing Writer

November 8, 2019

 In mid-October, President Trump announced that he would withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Syria, citing his desire to remove the U.S. from “endless wars” in the Middle East. The announcement was met with blistering protests from both sides of the congressional aisle. The decision’s impact has been immediate and catastrophic: Turkey has taken Trump’s announcement as an invitation to invade Northern Syria; Kurdish forces — once allied with the U.S. — now face a Turkish ethnic cleansing campaign in Syria; and Russian and Syrian government forces have rushed in to fill the void. With hundreds of civilians already dead amidst the violence and a new wave of internally displaced people now racing away from the ...

U.S. Fails to Learn from Mistakes in Middle East

Sean Para, Columnist

September 11, 2015

A remarkable and nigh-apocalyptic period of tumult and war is occurring in the Middle East. An order that grew out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire and was cemented after the WWII has collapsed across the region. The first step in this process was the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq, which destroyed the Iraqi state that grew out of the British mandate and was dominated by Sunnis. The invasion showed that the dictators who had been in power since the Cold War — the Assad family, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi — could be toppled. The Iraq War also demonstrated the disastrous consequences that would ensue. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator and certainly did not rule a legitimate government. However, the curren...

Military historian and Iraq War colonel Peter Mansoor who participated in Tues- day’s panel discussion regarding ISIS

Off the Cuff: Peter Mansoor, military historian and Iraq War colonel

March 6, 2015

Professor Peter Mansoor is the current Raymond E. Mason, Jr. chair of military history at the Ohio State University. Mansoor served in the early years of the Iraq war as the commanding officer of the 1st Armored Division of the 1st Brigade, before later serving as the executive officer to General David Petraeus during the surge. He was invited by the Alexander Hamilton Society and the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians to take part in a discussion alongside Professor Zeinab Abul-Magd of ...

U.S. Intervention in Iraq, Syria Ineffective

Dylan Tencic, Contributing Writer

November 14, 2014

During a strategic planning conference with foreign military leaders, President Obama had an encouraging change of perspective on operations in the Iraq and Syria. He acknowledged that the fight against ISIS expands beyond military action and stressed that we are combating an “ideological strain of extremism” more than a military foe. He also said that the United States’s military leadership was acting in compliance with this position. Unsurprisingly, recent developments on the ground tell a different story. Instead of waging what Obama describes as “a campaign that includes all the dimensions of power,” we have ramped up airstrikes to their highest frequency in months, sold more arms to shady allies and...

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