This Week’s Big Story: The Atlantic and Understanding the ISIS Crisis


Each week USDR brings a story that we believe to be the current “big story.”  In a little bit of a turn, we are making a story this week’s big story.  Graeme Wood, who is a writer for the Atlantic, has written an incredibly powerful article that could go far in helping the public, politicians, and others to understand the scope of the ISIS problem.  We want it to become a part of the conversation and are, thus, hoping to insert it into the foreign policy  debate.

The Atlantic recently published an article on “What ISIS Really Wants” and, in the opinion of our editorial team, it is one of the most thoughtful and powerful analysis of ISIS we have seen.  It exposes what this organization believes and what they perceive as their goals and objectives.  It is serious reading, but well worth  it.

The article begins with a thorough examination of what the Islamic State (ISIS) is, where it came form, and its intentions.  It goes on, over several thousand words, to provide important details about the group.  In the article the author examines the devotion of ISIS, and it’s similarities and differences with al-Qaeda.  Our failure to understand those difference has made fighting ISIS all the more difficult.  The article than examines the group’s rapidly growing and expanding territory.  It goes on to examine the group’s view of the apocalypse and its intent to make that a reality.  The group acts as though God needs its help to bring on the “last days” and it is perfectly willing to play that role.  Than there is an examination of the “fight” this organization sees itself in and explains its willingness to wage it.  Finally, the article examines the problem of “Dissuasion” and considers the futility of those who would argue that ISIS is “un-Islamic.”  Like Christianity, Islam has many sects, with many interpretations, and several of those have a violent bent.  ISIS is certainly among the most dangerous of those  groups.

In the end there is something in this article to frighten and offend many people, but it is clear the author does not have an ax to grind.  The article is thoroughly researched, very objective, and an important tool to help people fully understand the challenge we  face.

We suggest reading the article in its  entirety. 

That is was our choice for this week’s big story and we felt it was head and shoulders above other options.  What did you think of our choice?  Did we miss one that you thought was more significant?  Enter the debate about it on twitter with #BigStory and @usdailyreview, also send your suggestions for future stories to 

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.