This Reporter’s Tweets Are Your Guide To ISIS 101

Priyanka Prasad
Rukmini Callimachi perfectly encapsulated the complex issues involved in fighting ISIS with 19 tweets.

barack obama

President Obama’s speech on Sunday night, which carefully outlined the U.S.’s tactics to fight ISIS, was well received by many individuals well-versed in the complexities of the Middle East, praising his call for unity and wise choice to avoid ground forces (despite the public’s desire  to fight ISIS with something more immediate and tangible).

Rukmini Callimachi, an award-winning foreign correspondent who covers ISIS and Al-Qaeda for the New York Times, was one such supporter, although she provided additional nuance to potential issues that emerge with Obama’s four-point plan to combat the militant group.

For those who may be unaware of the various religious complications that inherently arise with fighting terrorists in the Middle East, Callimachi used 19 very thoughtful tweets to help bring some much-needed grayness to a problem Americans too often view in black and white.

Callimachi’s first few tweets delineate ISIS’s ultimate goals and strategy, which Obama also alluded to during his speech.

However, she then contemplates the difficulties of fighting the group with ground allies in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, when these allies are so ethnically and religiously diverse. This renders a lack of military cohesion and homogeneous territorial goals.

Additionally, most of ground forces that are currently overpowering ISIS are Kurdish—unfortunately the key cities that need to be regained are Sunni, and we lack Sunni forces.

It’s not nearly as simple as many believe to just deploy American troops and let them destroy ISIS—it will involve judicious planning and cooperation with many local forces in the region, along with international, ethnic, and religious cohesion, which Callimachi’s tweets exemplify. 

Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @RukminiCallimachi