Regarding the U.S. being “reasonably certain” that Jihadi John is dead: The targeting and killing of Jihadi John by the U.S. coalition-led airstrikes was one of its greatest accomplishments thus far. Jihadi John served as a symbol of the terror messages released to social media by Islamic State as he was well-known by the world to be the man wielding the scythe in those many infamous videos. Now, knowing that he is dead, along with the recent advancements of Kurdish forces in the town of Sinjar, the U.S. should take this opportunity to turn the tide back in their favor.

I believe that over the recent years under the Obama administration, groups such as the Islamic State have been able to test America to see how far they could take their fight without seeing any retaliation. Extremist groups in the Middle East such as Islamic State have lost respect for America. I believe that this was one of Obama’s most significant foreign policy faults. The U.S. needs to take advantage of this Islamic State loss to regain their respect in the region.

This is a very difficult and complicated task politically, but I believe that the U.S. needs to re-establish a foothold in the region.

Another example of a weakened U.S. foreign policy is Russia’s new involvement with Bashar al-Assad. In his last year of office, Obama needs to further weaken Islamic State by continuing these airstrikes and increasing the involvement of the special forces in the area in order to target figures of strategic importance and carry out operations such as the recent operation that freed prisoners held by IS. I had written the majority of this opinion the day of the Paris terror attacks. These attacks call for a retaliation from President Hollande that must combat the terrorists’ arrogance to prevent this from happening again.

This arrogance is a direct result of the lacking military prowess of the U.S. and its allies. Obama needs to alter his Middle East policy in order to gain respect for America and to help the many millions who have been affected by Islamic State.

John Wisdom


New Orleans