These ideas were compiled by the War Prevention Initiative from peace journalism resources.

Despite general pushback from the American people after dreadful policies of military interventionism when it comes to new military operations, there seems to be an accepted relatively broad public support for military action against ISIS. We often are faced the false dichotomy between military intervention and non-action. Peace scientists/public peace intellectuals have provided numerous excellent written articles suggesting constructive nonviolent approaches. The following stood out:

ISIL, the US, and curing our addition to violence (Erin Niemela, Tom Hastings) –

The main points summarized are:

  1. Stop making terrorists.
  2. Stop transferring military arms and equipment to the region.
  3. Start generating real sympathy in the population that terrorists claim to defend.
  4. Stop creating more terrorism targets.
  5. Humanitarian intervention by caring but firm stakeholders.

Six Steps Short of War to Beat ISIS (Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies) –

The main points summarized are:

  1. Stop the airstrikes.
  2. Make real commitment for No Boots on the Ground.
  3. Organize a real diplomatic partnership to deal with ISIS.
  4. Initiate a new search for broader diplomatic solutions in the United Nations.
  5. Push the UN, despite Lakhdar Brahimi’s resignation, to restart real negotiations on ending the civil war in Syria.
  6. Massively increase US humanitarian contributions to U.N. agencies for the now millions of refugees and IDPs in and from both Syria and Iraq.

“There Is No Military Solution” — But Obama Launches a New U.S. War in Syria (Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies –

The main points summarized are:

  1. The bombing should stop immediately, and be replaced with a U.S. policy based on
  2. Supporting an intensive new UN-based diplomatic initiative involving all parties in the region
  3. Opening direct talks with Iran and Russia based on shared opposition to ISIS – with Iran to jointly push for ending anti-Sunni sectarianism in the Iraqi government, and with Russia to work towards ending the multi-party civil war in Syria
  4. Pressuring U.S. allies in the region to stop their governments and people from arming and facilitating the movement of ISIS fighters
  5. Shifting the war funds to a massive increase in humanitarian assistance

Questions for US strategy against ISIS (David Cortright) –

The main points unedited are:

  1. Why is the U.S. strategy focused so extensively on military measures when the President himself has stated, and many experts agree, that overcoming the threat posed by ISIS is fundamentally a political problem that will require political solutions?
  2. Why do we think limited military efforts will succeed now when more robust military measures over the past decade were unable to bring stability and security to Iraq? When will we learn, as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in 2008, that “we cannot kill or capture our way to victory” in the fight against terrorism and insurgency?
  3. Why does the President says there will be no ‘boots on the ground’ when he has already sent hundreds of U.S. military advisers to Iraq? How will we avoid the slippery slope of deeper military involvement if American advisers are killed or kidnapped?
  4. How do we ensure that the weapons we provide to local militias in Iraq and Syria are not used against us or our allies in the region? News reports indicate that some of the weapons recently recovered from ISIS fighters in Iraq were made in the U.S.
  5. How is it possible to fight against the enemies of the Assad regime in Syria without helping that regime?


These perspectives provide outstanding talking points which the media, the public and political leadership should hear, should use and upon which decisions should be made. It starts in our own circles. When we talk about ISIS, we have talking points through such material. The more people get exposed to this knowledge, the more likely the public conversation will be influenced. We are on the right path!