President Obama’s plans outlined Wednesday night is an aggressive plan to destroy the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), but much is dependent on other countries in the region for Obama’s strategy to work, according to a Georgia State University political scientist.
John S. Duffield, professor of political science at Georgia State University, is available to discuss Obama’s plans in addition to energy security and price ramifications.
His direct contact information is available above for reporters logged into the Newswise system.
Duffield is an expert on energy security and the effects of politics on energy. He is the author of "Over a Barrel: The Costs of U.S. Foreign Oil Dependence," printed in 2008, and co-edited "Balance Sheet: The Iraq War and U.S. National Security" in 2009.
“In his address to the nation, President Obama laid out an aggressive but clearly limited strategy with the aim of degrading and eventually destroying the Islamic State (ISIS) that currently controls large areas of Syria and Iraq,” Duffield said. “It is aggressive insofar as the United States will increase the tempo and geographical scope of its air strikes against ISIS, to include possible targets within Syria.
“It is limited insofar as the success of the strategy is contingent on the efforts of Iraq and other regional partners, especially with regard to the use of ground forces,” he continued. “The strategy seems carefully calibrated to strike a balance between effectiveness, which probably requires a substantial U.S. role, and political sustainability, which requires minimizing the risks to U.S. forces and the drain on the U.S. budget.”
If Obama’s strategy works, rolling back the Islamic State might bring greater stability that would increase oil exports from northern Iraq, Duffield said.
“In the short term, rolling back ISIS should result in greater stability in the region, especially Iraq,” he explained. “Depending on internal Iraqi developments, it could even facilitate greater oil exports from the big oil field around Kirkuk, which is now controlled by the Kurds.
“So far, though, ISIS has not had an appreciative impact on other oil exports in the region,” Duffield continued. “In the long-term, the effort to eliminate ISIS will likely reshuffle the previous regional rivalries among Iraqi, Iran, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Turkey, and the Kurds, with unpredictable consequences for oil and gas exports. In the best case, it could herald a rapprochement with Iran, removing restrictions on that country’s oil and gas exports.”
More information about Duffield is available at http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwpol/2750.html.