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In the aftermath of Friday's attacks in Paris, a broader picture is emerging about the strategic goals of Islamic State in confronting its enemies outside Syria and Iraq.
ISIS has already claimed responsibility for bringing down a Russian airliner in Egypt on November the first. and has launched deadly suicide attacks in Turkey and Lebanon. But the Paris attacks were by the far the group's most audacious and sophisticated attacks on a western target.
The Islamic State seems bent on punishing the forces that are attacking it on the ground in Syria but Henri Barkey of the Wilson Center in Washington, says it's a strategy doomed to fail:
"The more ISIS does Paris-like events, or threatens, you are going to see that the determination to go after them is going to increase. In fact, this is the bravado of a 15-year old who says oh I can do this, I did this, I can do this, you should be afraid of me. But it is A -- not very smart and B -- I don't think it is that easy to do it."
The Islamic State has followed up its Paris operation with a propaganda video making additional threats against Europe and the United States. Despite it's warning of an attack on Washington, Barkey says the Paris attacks have strengthened the hand of President Obama in pursuing Islamic State with even more determination.
"There is a window here where he has to be quite forceful and say to whomever -- whether it's the Turks or the Saudis or the Qataris -- look, this is our strategy, this is what we are going to do and you're not going to interfere, you're going to help us, because there is going to be a price to pay if you don't."
Barkey says Islamic State can be contained, but that a much broader and more determined effort will be required.
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