The Gist: Max Abrahms on ISIS, and Obama’s leadership after the Paris attacks.

The Civilian Battlefield: Does Paris Indicate a New Front for ISIS?

The Civilian Battlefield: Does Paris Indicate a New Front for ISIS?

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Nov. 16 2015 6:03 PM

Was Paris a Tactical Mistake?

Our guest suggests ISIS might have sacrificed its dream of the caliphate in order to attack Paris.

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Demonstrators hold up an ISIS flag during a demonstration in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, on July 18, 2014.

Phot by Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to Episode 379 of Slate’s The Gist:

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Immediately after the Paris attacks, French President François Hollande called the terrorism “an act of war.” Then on Meet the Press, White House staffer Ben Rhodes went further, saying, “We’ve been at war with ISIS for quite some time.” How does ISIS conceptualize this state of affairs? On The Gist, Max Abrahms from Northeastern University examines the Islamic State’s seemingly paradoxical motives. For the Spiel, we ponder the role of leaders in the face of a handful of motivated killers.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.