American-backed ground forces are poised to recapture Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, the Islamic State’s de facto capitals. But while U.S. commanders are confident they soon will vanquish the militant group from its self-declared caliphate after three years of fighting, Washington has not defined a strategy in the next step for stabilizing the region.

The Trump administration faces key decisions about safe zones, reconstruction, governmental control in the area, easing sectarian tensions and commitment of U.S. troops among other considerations.

Nor has the Trump administration set policy for how it will confront forces from Iran and Russia, the two outside powers that arguably gained the most in the bitter conflict — and that now are hoping to collect the spoils and expand their influence.

Iran, in particular, is pushing to secure a land corridor from its western border across Iraq and Syria and up to Lebanon, where it supports Hezbollah militants, giving it a far larger foothold in the turbulent region.