The aim of the paper is to study the opinions of various experts concerning the ways of defeating ISIS. For this purpose, several credible sources are used. All the authors state that ISIS is considered the most dangerous as well as the richest terrorist formation in the world. Therefore, it is significant to find the ways to counter it. The findings reveal that despite the fact that the organization appeared in Syria and Iraq, its members are active in many countries worldwide. The violent group commits catastrophic terrorist attacks and is engaged in human trafficking. Although world leaders have made efforts to find the solution to the issue of ISIS for a long time, the organization is still not eliminated. Experts propose several ways to destroy ISIS. However, most of the politicians agree that it is impossible to defeat it without military actions. Furthermore, it is highly significant to act in common efforts.
Keywords: terrorists, oil, attack, ISIS.
The United States and ISIS
ISIS or the Islamic State is an Islamist terrorist organization operating in the territory of Iraq and Syria. Throughout its existence, ISIS completely superseded Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist organizations from the agenda. Declared as one of the main threats to the civilized world, this terrorist quasi-state formation almost immediately demonstrated its demonic traits. Domestic policy of this organization especially distinctively indicates its awful actions. It mainly includes brutal tortures and executions, slave trade, and other phenomena that are typical for the XI rather than for the XXI century. ISIS is recognized as a terrorist group in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Australia, Turkey, the UAE, Indonesia, India, and other countries, in which its activity is prohibited. Thus, many nations consider this formation as their main enemy at the moment. The necessity to counter ISIS has long been discussed by numerous states. However, no army can eliminate it; therefore, the attempts to degrade the terrorist group are being made. The purpose of the current paper is to explore the methods for the United States to defeat the Islamic State.
Formation and Development of the Organization
This formation is considered rather young. A division of Al-Qaeda in Iraq called the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) headed the merger of several radical Sunni groups and established ISIS in 2006 (Feldman, 2012). At the same time, it adopted its constitution. The main purpose of the organization consisted in capture the Sunni part of Iraq and its change into a militarized Islamic state (Feldman, 2012). In April 2013, through the merger of two branches of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and Syrian Al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Islamic State was formed under the name of ISIS (Rasheed, 2015). Its main goal was the establishment of an Islamic emirate in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon (Rasheed, 2015). Adil Rasheed affirms that later, soldiers of ISIS swore allegiance to the leader of Al-Qaeda. However, due to hostility and regular clashes between Iraqi and Syrian groups, the organization was dissolved in order for the groups to act independently of each other in Iraq and in Syria respectively (Rasheed, 2015). Despite that fact, ISIS continued to operate on the territory of both states.
It is evident that the terrorists of this organization have a great amount of weapons in their possessions. Sekulow (2014) notes, “ISIS controls more firepower and territory than any jihadist organization in history” (p. 8). In 2014, the Islamic State took control of several oil fields in Iraq (Nance, 2016). Capturing large military bases in the country, they received at their disposal a spate of weapons and military equipment including tanks, portable anti-aircraft missiles, howitzers of the U.S. production, and armored personnel carriers (Nance, 2016). According to the United States Intelligence Community and the statements of the Iraqi authorities, the militants of ISIS possess chemical weapons and have repeatedly applied chlorine-containing ammunition and mustard gas (Nance, 2016). It should be noted that the exact number of ISIS members is unknown. However, it is known for certain that this organization includes the representatives of different countries.
The main source of income of Islamists is an illegal oil trade. In the areas controlled by ISIS, there is a monopoly on oil production and delivery. Experts emphasize an extremely high level of oil business in the territory (Sekulow, 2014). Control of deposits is conducted by the police squads formed from militants. A significant part of the resources is extracted in the eastern part of Syria. The U.S. authorities claim that ISIS receives monthly $ 40 million from oil smuggling (Nance, 2016). According to ISIS: Race to Armageddon, “ISIS is not only richer than Al-Qaeda but is arguably the richest terrorist organization in human history” (Rasheed, 2015, p. 3). The second most important source of income for this terrorist formation is smuggling of cultural artifacts (Nance, 2016). In addition, the militants demand ransom for the hostages and are engaged in racketeering and robbery (Rasheed, 2015). Thus, the organization annually receives great sums for the realization of its activity.
Methods to Defeat ISIS
The fight against the terrorist organization is conducted since its establishment. The United States leads military and air operations against ISIS in Iraq since August 8, 2014, and in Syria since September 23, 2014 (Nance, 2016). At the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, it was decided to create an international coalition against the jihadists (Rasheed, 2015). About 60 countries joined that coalition (Rasheed, 2015). Nonetheless, neither the coalition nor the military operations were able to stop the activity of the terrorist organization. Therefore, other methods should be developed.
To suppress the Islamist center in the heart of the Middle East, a strong anti-terrorist coalition of Western countries and local governments is undoubtedly necessary. According to the government of the United States, it is possible to defeat ISIS only by overthrow of Bashar al-Assad (Nance, 2016). As the practice of the last time shows, while maintaining the fight against the Assad regime, it is impossible to succeed with ISIS. The struggle must be conducted in parallel with the fight against the Assad regime. General Martin Dempsey states that it is impossible to defeat the Islamic State without taking action against the part of the group, which is located in the Syrian territory (Nance, 2016). ISIS originally appeared in Syria and was promoted by the President Bashar al-Assad. Therefore, to eliminate the organization, it is necessary to fight in Iraq though Syria should not be forgotten. In addition, for the United States to defeat ISIS, the country needs to unite with other states. The only possible action scheme is to unite the efforts against the powerful enemy.
However, there is also another opinion regarding the fact that overthrow of Bashar al-Assad will not help but even worsen the conflict. Some experts believe that the only possible solution is a dialogue with Assad (Schuchter, 2015). Moreover, the leader of the United States should perform this action as America is considered the most influential country in the political world. The experts state that Assad is the only representative of the Islamic State who can be engaged in negotiations. Thus, if Bashar al-Assad disappears, the situation will become only worse (Schuchter, 2015). It will be an apparent victory of ISIS which will strengthen its power thus growing its influence in Syria, Iraq, and thought the world.
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Despite different opinions, the majority of the politicians still believe that the victory over the Islamic State is possible in case its main bulwark in northern Iraq and eastern Syria will be destroyed. Otherwise, any actions against the Islamists in Europe, North Africa, and other regions remain palliative (Schuchter, 2015). Undoubtedly, a strong anti-terrorist coalition of Western countries and local governments is necessary (Schuchter, 2015). The developed countries should will to continue operations despite the almost inevitable terrorist attacks against their territories. Most importantly, the largest ground operation is required. These actions can help the United States and other countries defeat ISIS.
Moreover, as aforementioned, ISIS is the richest terrorist formation in the world. Thus, it can be supposed that if to limit the source of the income of the organization, its activity can be a little reduced. For example, it is possible to strengthen supervision of the police in the areas of the organization locations in order to stop human trafficking though it will be extremely difficult to implement. In addition, using social networks can assist in defeating the Islamic State. As ISIS recruits mainly young people, it is advisable to launch truthful information about this organization and its violent acts in the most popular networks.
In my opinion, in terms of national revival and with the dominance of the desire to get rid of the dictates of external players, the struggle with Islamist movements in the Middle East is not possible. To detect the force that is ready to become a major factor in the ground operation, it is necessary to forget about the existing legitimacy and find a new but significant party of the conflict. These are the Kurds who are considered the most dangerous opponents of ISIS. The establishment of an independent Kurdish state on the uncontrolled territories in case of victory over ISIS is a possible way of solving the problem with the terrorist organization. Thus, measures as such the establishment of contacts with representatives of the Kurds, social networks, and limitation of the source of income can help defeat ISIS.
ISIS is considered one of the most powerful terrorist organizations in the globe. It includes the members from different states. The secret to the effectiveness of ISIS is a constant inflow of petrodollars. The organization managed to capture a great number of rich oil fields, which give large sums to sponsor the activity of the formation. Numerous nations seek to defeat the Islamic State. Nevertheless, all the attempts of the Western world to overcome the terrorist threat in the Middle East are still unsuccessful. It is highly important for the countries from the entire globe to unite against ISIS.