Today, President Obama will sit down with a bipartisan group of leaders from both the House and Senate, including members of the current Democratic leadership and the incoming 2015 Republican leadership. At the lunch, the group plans to discuss areas where the executive and legislative branches can find common ground to move issues forward over the next two years. Reportedly on the list of topics for discussion is the continued effort of the United States to thwart the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, also referred to as ISIL or IS).
To get up to speed on what is going on with ISIS before the lunch on Friday, check out BPC’s quick reads on the issues, including:
- A Crash Course on ISIS: why it goes by so many names and what its implications for defense spending are.
- Regional Relations between ISIS and Other Actors: how ISIS interacts with nation states, sectarian groups, ethnic groups and other extremist groups—and why, in the Middle East, the enemy of your enemy is still your enemy.
- U.S. Attempts to Assemble a Coalition to Fight ISIS: who is and isn’t joining.
- The Fight for Kobani: why the Kurdish-held, Syrian border town has emerged as a major front in the regional struggle against ISIS and why it is so important.
Blaise Misztal is the director of the Foreign Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center and regularly monitors foreign policy debates in Congress; he is available for media interviews upon request.