March 2, 2015

The crisis surrounding ISIS

By Nick Amon–

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, better known as the notoriously extremist Islamist rebel group ISIS, is an increasingly influential terror group controlling expanding areas in the middle-eastern nations of Iraq and Syria.

With little need for introduction, the group prides itself on brute force throughout the region, publicly displaying the decapitations of their opponents on the streets and in videos.

Many experts say ISIS is a result of the abrupt pullout of American military forces overseas over the past few years. Others disagree, blaming the economic conditions of these nations for providing the perfect breeding grounds for such a violent group acting in the name of Islam, terrorizing any sign of opposition along the road.

No matter what groups of international relation analysts are correct, it’s obvious to see the U.S. plans on attacking the growth of this barbaric terror group one drone attack at a time. In terms of successfully doing so on the other hand, is a completely different story.

“As commander in chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people.” Concerning the strategy of diluting and ultimately eliminating ISIS, this is what President Barack Obama opened his speech with concerning the matter last September.

Obama went on to say the U.S. will lead the coalition of force alongside the Iraqi Government in an effort to take back ISIS-controlled territory and deplete the terrorist group’s influence within the region.

More recently a ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated terror group named Al Shabaab, released a six-minute long video calling for the attacks on western shopping malls, those of which include the Mall of America in Minnesota, the West Edmonton mall in Canada, and the Oxford Street shopping area in the United Kingdom.

The group stemming from Somalia has raised many safety concerns for Americans over the past few weeks. And even though authorities report that the credibility of these threats is almost non-existent, many Americans still feel otherwise and remain in fear.

Riding the backs of the Syrian Rebels and Iraqi forces, the U.S. has constructed a plan of action that involves seldom but allegedly efficient military involvement from our nation. Yet with the increasing amount of threats made by ISIS and other terror groups to take their fight to the west, this previously mentioned coalition of allied forces seems to hold less and less weight of legitimacy in relation to the at home safety concerns of the American public.

One of the main aspects of the strategy mentioned by the President back in September touched on the fact that the U.S. will continue in an attempt to defund ISIS’s means of income, and continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those sheltering misplaced refugees in Iraq and Syria.

It’s been obvious that the President’s ongoing humanitarian efforts in the region remain vital, especially when it comes to the relations the U.S. maintains between the Syrian Rebels and Iraqi forces. Refugees separated from loved ones and their homes are attempting to find solitude, and our assistance only increases our ties with ISIS opposition.

But when discussing the effort to defund such a financially rooted terror organization like ISIS, often times it’s easier said then done. Utilizing drones and attacking the oil smuggling efforts of the group is one strategy, but how efficiently does this affect the pockets of these Islamic zealots?

“Controlling territory has given them opportunities that groups like al Qaeda, who haven’t controlled real territory, haven’t had.” This is what Matthew Levitt, the director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, had to say regarding the advantageous standpoint of ISIS.

It’s been recently proven that ISIS is not only funded by oil smuggling into countries desperate for the resource, but ISIS taxes the citizens of their controlled territory for minute daily activities as well, such as traveling down a specific roadway or conducting trading business; giving the terror group an unsurpassable advantage compared to those wishing to defund their cause.

Interestingly enough, finding reassurance in the playback videos across the Internet of Obama’s speech on how we’re dealing with terrorism overseas, is almost impossible as we then see another video of ISIS captives being beheaded in the false name of Islam.

Since action is of such vitality, evidence of progress is something of increasing importance in terms of the American public’s opinion. Mainly due to the fact that it seems as if the only alternative the average American citizen has left to do is grab the popcorn and watch from a front row seat how our nation’s administration deals with this increasing threat.

Economic conditions in these regions do need to improve in order to maintain a soluble international relationship with these nations and to prevent the growth of another terrorist group in the future if ISIS and groups alike are ever dismantled.

Yet to ignore the significance of such a violence driven group that not only continues to behead journalists in the street, but continues to threaten the solitude of civilizations across the world, would be nothing short of a grave mistake dug out from our own fear of intrusion.

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