Can the Islamic State Survive? - NYTimes.com: But the Soviet example is still a useful reminder that the “inevitable” fall of fanatical upstarts is not always actually inevitable. And it offers a few lessons in how, against all odds, the Islamic State might actually survive.
First, because great powers get war-weary and distracted. As different as our situation is from the aftermath of World War I, it’s clear that the United States would be more involved militarily against ISIS if we didn’t have the recent disillusioning experience of a bloody occupation in Iraq. And it’s easy to imagine events intruding — another economic crisis, a hotter war in Ukraine, brinkmanship with China — that could make Ramadi look as remote to our interests as Arkhangelsk and Vladivostok seemed to the average Westerner in 1919.