July 22, 2017

Alliance Against ISIS Easy to say but difficult to do for France

PARIS — By attacking civilian targets well beyond its territory, the Islamic State has seemingly accomplished what diplomats had failed to do. Suddenly, the international order has been scrambled, drawing the United States, Russia and France together in a possible alliance against the terrorist group.

Each of the three longtime powers now has its own reasons for wanting to destroy the Islamic State after the pitiless attacks on civilians in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet carrying vacationers. President Obama has provided intelligence to facilitate French airstrikes and suggested he was open to more cooperation with Russia.

Each of the three longtime powers now has its own reasons for wanting to destroy the Islamic State after the pitiless attacks on civilians in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet carrying vacationers. President Obama has provided intelligence to facilitate French airstrikes and suggested he was open to more cooperation with Russia.

But so far, that alliance remains largely theoretical. Even as President François Hollande of France takes on the role of bridge builder with back-to-back trips next week to Washington and Moscow, powerful centrifugal forces are still pulling the would-be partners apart as competing national interests challenge efforts to translate that newly shared aspiration into a sustained collaboration over time.

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