In order to eliminate the threat of ISIS, the United States has to support eliminating the conditions that have led people in Syria and Iraq to conclude that ISIS is the lesser of two evils, says Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, in this Burning Issues video.

Bennis’ book Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror fundamentally questions U.S. strategy against the effort to build an extremist caliphate.

Fighting ISIS militarily is not the only strategy, Bennis says. A credible plan to defeat ISIS “starts with what every medical student learns on her first day in medical school: First, do no harm… Stop the drone attacks. Stop the air strikes.”

Bennis argues that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s plan to set up a no-fly zone in Syria and to engage in other forms of military escalation in the Middle East is “incredibly reckless.” Of Donald Trump, “God knows what he would do.”

Bennis also laments that “our movements have not demanded of any of the candidates” focus much more on these global issues of peacemaking.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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