After Paris: An Early Take On What Comes Next

On the day after the Paris attacks, some initial thoughts:

Can we develop and execute a comprehensive plan to deal with ISIS? - We are now facing a true test of the civilized world. Can we muster the will over the next decade to end the Syrian conflict, manage the refugee crisis, come to a rough regional peace between Sunni and Shi'a, Arab and Persian, Palestinian and Israeli? Can we saddle up once again for a significant military engagement in MENA, doing what is required to "destroy and degrade" ISIS, knowing full well that we will lose more young Americans and the outcome is not certain? Can we continue to invest in distributed, cleaner energy to ensure the despotic governments of the region have far less capacity to export chaos and oppress their own people? Can we create a global dialogue about the lack of opportunity for tens of millions of young people in MENA, whose repressive, oligarchical societies continue to be relentless breeding grounds for radicalism?

What happens now is as much about us as it is about them.....we know what needs to happen - can we get it done? Do we have the resolve, the vision, the patience and the capacity? Perhaps no more important work in the world today........let's let this debate begin now in earnest.

Rising anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe - There can be little doubt that the attack in Paris will cause the rising anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe to soar. It will make managing the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis far more challenging, and will likely strengthen anti-immigrant, anti-globalization parties throughout the continent. This sentiment could also effect other important US priorities like TTIP and the ongoing discussions over data flows and other 21st century tech issues already contentious between the US and EU.

For the US these developments should be as worrisome as any other, and add to the pressure of taking decisive now. The political negotiations in Vienna on Syria's future showed promise today. Let us work hard there now to accelerate the political track too long neglected.

Additionally, my hope is that here at home Paris will make the logic for TPP more compelling, and help us pass this important legislation in the spring. Paris is a powerful reminder of the need for the civilized world to invest in those institutions and arrangements that work to ensure that the international order and modernity prevail over their opponents in the years ahead.  TPP is a critical part of that strategy, and should be sold that way to the American people. 

Huge Thank You to US security services - Given the chaos we are seeing in the world today, it is truly remarkable so little of it has come to the US in recent years.  The entire nation should be grateful for the truly incredible job those protecting us have done to keep us safe in an uncertain age.  

Impact on US immigration debate? - What impact it has on the US immigration debate remains to be seen, but I assume it will strengthen the restrictionists here.

The campaign against ISIS in the region appears to be gaining steam - The campaign against ISIS in the region itself seems to have had some significant victories in the past few days. Is this a turning point? A sign that we now understand the terrain and are becoming more effective at targeting the enemy? Will be interesting to hear from our military leaders with their take in the days to come. 

That France has called the struggle with ISIS a "war" is significant.  Will chapter 5 of the NATO treaty be invoked? Far more effective way to mobilize reluctant populations in the West for what could be a long and diffcult - but necessary - struggle.  Watch the words of our leaders in the days ahead, particularly at the G20 in Turkey.  

This version has some minor corrections from the initial draft.