Priority in the new administration is to defeat ISIS and eliminate the threat that the so-called caliphate poses to the United States and the region. President Trump has sworn in and begun his work signing many executive orders. Promises are leading to action.

The foremost, although yet to be discussed, of which is defeating and removing ISIL from the battlefield. When the President said that defeating ISIS was tricky, he is right. It’s an international nightmare that’s been allowed to occur and play itself out. To some extent, the dust has settled. Russia and Turkey are launching joint air-strikes. There’s a growing international distaste for ISIL beyond what there was before. In time, it could come to pass that many see ISIL when they think of Syria.

In effect, Assad might escape and continue to rule – and all eyes will be refocused on ISIL. If Assad is tamed and even participates in a western development model – would that be a good thing in the long run? Or are his regime’s moral transgressions too egregious?

But – Assad aside – an international effort of some sort is necessary to root out ISIL. Russia and the U.S. are the two capable partners to remove the real estate and defeat ISIS militarily. The two forces would probably have to meet in the middle, because the idea of coordinating directly with Russia is a dim prospect that could become a reality. But, for how long and would it last?