The War against the Islamic States Abstract


TheWar against the Islamic States


This paper discusses the rise of ISIS,the US war with ISIS and the solutions for resolving thiswide-spreading conflict. It views the origin of the extremist group,ISIS or rather ISIL and how it affects and re-shapes the political,social and economic landscape of the affected countries. ISIS is seenas a threat to the establishment of the US foreign policy and peaceto the world as well. ISIS is a Sunni, Jihadist extremist militantgroup and a self-proclaimed Islamic state. The US aim is to split theSunni community off from ISIS and isolating the extremists.

Keywords:ISIS- Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

ISIL-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levante

TheWar against the Islamic States


ISIS is directlyand indirectly involved with the conflict and extremism in the MiddleEast states.


TheISIS is an extremist group that occupies most of the Middle East. Thegroup started off in 1999 and joined the al-Qaeda group in theOctober of 2004 declared Iraq as an Islamic state in October of2006. In April 2013, they conquered the Levant region and claimedownership of the territory. As recent as of February 2014, ISISbranched off from al-Qaeda and declared a caliphate in the same yearin June. ISIS or ISIL have claims in several countries such as(Cockburn, 2015):

  • Libya

  • Afghanistan

  • Pakistan

  • India

  • Nigeria

  • Yemen

  • Egypt

  • Algeria

  • Saudi Arabia

Thesegroup uses military skills and religious bases to claim victoryagainst the armed forces of affected countries as named above(Cockburn, 2015).Mostof these countries have tried fighting this group but their effortshave gone in vain since the group uses fear as a major way offighting and suppressing any form of rejection. The British and theAmerican soldiers were at a war-front, fighting these extremistgroups since they hinder economic, social and political developmentin these countries (Cockburn,2015).For example, a country like Iraq, in the year 2003 had only threecommunities wanting to rule by changing the old regime, but thanks tothe US and British government who helped remove the Saddam Husseintyrannical government. Through that movement, the positive impact wasfelt in 2014 after the government was overthrown. So, the USgovernment encouraged the Iraq government to act in a democratic wayby sharing the power equally. The world is now a global village sowhat affects another country affects others globally since countriesdepend on each other in sharing miscellaneous resources (Cockburn,2015).


2.0BODY2.1 The IraqWar and the Rise of ISIS

After the death ofOsama Bin Laden, the al-Qaeda group has gone far in increasing itsterritories in Western and Northern Iraq and some part of Syria suchas Northern and Eastern parts which have become territories ruled bythis group (Cockburn, 2015).In the year 2003, a provincial capital called Ragga was captured andtaken as rebel territory (Lynch,2014). At the beginning of the year 2014, Fallujah a city thatwas being occupied by the US troops, West of Baghdad ten years agowas taken by rebels. The rebel group kept capturing small cities likeTikrit and Mosul and in the process changing the lines of battle.With the high expansion rate of ISIS, it became difficult todestabilize it. In the mid of 2014 the ISIS group was seen as morepowerful and perhaps compared to al-Qaeda and as an effectivelyradicalized group around the globe (Cockburn,2015).

These new changeswere a shock to the West elites since most of the events were notpresented by the journalist. This is because the journalist and theother observers feared the turf operated by ISIS, because they wereseen as riskier with rising cases of kidnapping, man slaughtering andthere was no or little effort to protect the foreign media.

Lack of coverageby the media provided the US and the European government with theopportunity to reduce the extent that could not be achieved on thewar on terror since the year 2011. In 28th of May 2012,President Obama made remarks that al-Qaeda is no longer a threat butthe major threat came from affiliates dispersing from the al-Qaedagroup with the aim of focusing on the territories where theyoperated. The President also warned that as the war in Syria crossesthe border, so does the threat spread to a wider area and affectingneighboring countries. Thus, the only solution was to offer supportto the opposition to end this war. But the problem arises when alarge proportion of Syria opposition is ISIS members and al-Qaedarepresentatives, so this makes it difficult for the US government tocontrol the opposition group (Cockburn,2015).

The ISIS groupobtained weapons from the anti-Assad members by use of money, threatsand force (Cockburn, 2015).The war arms were being supplied by the US allies e.g. Quarter andSaudi Arabia, and were captured in Iraq by the ISIS members. Thehighly secretive move by the US government to capture Osama Bin Ladendid not involve Pakistan or Afghanistan since The US officialdocuments suspected that the AL-Qaeda group was being financed bysome of the Arabic countries. Saudi Arabia is more influential in theMiddle East because of its wealth from oil and natural gas. Anotherthing that is more influential is the Sharia law of 18thcentury that disregards Sufi and Shia Muslims who were beingpersecuted as it was for the same case with Christians and Jews.

Wahhabism is wherethe ISIS drew its ideology and developed new strict laws. Anyonedenouncing the ideology was prosecuted or forced to flee. The groupused Islam as an effective instrument of taking over the power. Mostof the Sunni Muslims are Wahhabism. The Saudi Arabia government isfacilitating this through setting aside money to train preachers andbuilding mosques from one country to another.

President Obamacame to realize that the al-Qaeda types of groups were much strongerthan they were before the killing of Bin Laden, so he suggested theythere is need of partnership in fighting terrorists. In 2011, theJihad and Sunni trained its members to join rebel military groupsupon which they received large sums of money from the leaders inGulf. The opponents of this idea were silenced through killings. ISISis the mastermind of war believes that it re-shapes the world withviolence as a way of imposing their ideologies. Since the US forceswere sent to Iraq, religious differences with different beliefsintensified to conflicts. As the war in Iraq was coming to an end, itstarted to escalate in Syria, and this was done by the Sunni Arabs.In a nutshell, this wars built up the foundation of ISIS to spreadsince they used that opportunity to radicalize its people andestablish a strong battle field. The US and its supporters areconvincing the Sunni communities to turn against the militants, andit is difficult because the war is escalating to alarming levels(Cockburn, 2015).

2.2 Theories

2.2.1International social review

The U.S believesthat it succeeded to shape the Middle East. This is seen from theIraq elections and the surrounding territories. Protest forre-election in Lebanon questioning Syria, controlled election inSaudi Arabia and acceptance of democracy in Egypt. This was seen asan achievement by the Bush government. In that view, democracy wasregarded as the way forward for Iraq people. Bush was biased whenchoosing a country for the democracy wave. Some leaders who were notdictators were not in collaboration with the US in terms of democracy(Lynch, 2014).

2.2.2 Iraq

The elections thattook place in Iraq were an example of democracy in action. Somepeople did not even know the correct way of voting. The main aim ofthe US was to use the election to encourage political division inIraq in terms of ethnicity and religion so as to unify the country.However, there were so many people who died when the US troops weredeployed in Iraq (Joshua, 2005).

2.2.3 Lebanon

The origin ofSyrian in Lebanon in the year 1975 was due to the civil war whichtook place in the year 1975. The origin was due to the religiousdivisions where people only vote to people who belong to their ownreligious group. Public post and seats in the parliament wereaccording to religious affiliations. Additionally, in Palestine,following the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, democratization hascontinued to play a big role in the spread of the US foreign policy(Lynch, 2014).

Democracy isutilized in the US and it has driven the US to realize itsobjectives. The Government of US also helped in freeing the Cubansfrom the Spanish tyranny. According to President Woodrow, the USbecame the “superpower” so as to make the globe a safe haven fordemocracy. This followed the adoption of democracy by many foreigncountries.

Democracy shouldbe more than just elections. It should involve the human entitlementsfor the oppressed and the potential of the nation as a whole


This is a broadsocial theory but not as substantive as the others. In aninternational level, politics is a social activity with changing andsome similar characteristics in its structures and agents. This ismore concerned on the process and the changes that take place betweenactors and the related reactions. The world is viewed as sociallyconstructed despite the distinctions. A structure is constituted byan agent through beliefs, principles and values and the actionswhile, on the other side, the agents are shaped to know theiridentities and discover their interests in life.

3.0 U.SGovernment Position

The motives ofhuman beings can’t be observed directly in an empirical way.Behavior can be seen but for one to know the real intention it takesa lot. It is impossible because some people may try to portray thedifferent types of intentions, and this can be achieved through adeception. It’s difficult to know the intentions of a politicalleader because most of them are not straightforward. Whereas theworld views the U.S interest as to promote multinationalcorporations, make the globe a good place for imperialism and promotea free capitalistic market the policy makers in Washington arguethat the intention of the U.S government is to bring democracy,create peace and stability in various parts of the world, and also ithelps in protecting weaker nations from aggression, fightingterrorism, opposing tyranny, human rights conservation and genocides(Lynch, 2014).

The policies ofthe U.S tend to respect the sovereignty and the needs of otherindividuals, and this is the mere reason that it’s restless inpushing to dominate the global military. It has several troopsstationed in different military bases in the world. The bombs andlong-range missiles can reach any target on earth. In the pastdecade, the military establishment of the U.S was not able to containthe communist movement in Moscow, but after the Second World War,Washington did not dismantle expensive and highly dangerous militaryweapons. All the weapons were ready in action, with new ones beingcreated and more plans to cover the outer space (Lynch,2014).The White House and the Pentagon provided informationabout enemies of the state such as Libya, which had an army of 50,000personnel.

The White Houseoffers investment advice to countries in the South East part ofEurope. It encourages the creation of successful market economieswhere there is no restriction on the movement of goods and services.It provided capital for new business expansion, privatization, andinnovation through USAID (United States Agency for InternationalDevelopment) which also takes part in economic reforms. The September9/11 attacks became they turning point for the US to establish astrong and sophisticated military network that seeks to promoteglobal peace and find terrorism and extremism at all costs.

3.0Critical Interpretations

3.1 Anti-Imperialism

Therise of US as an imperial power led to the use of democracy as a wayof spreading the US foreign policy. The US colonized Philippines andCuba as an excuse for freeing the two countries from the Spanishtyrannical rule. Any involvement of US in major wars was to establishdemocracy. For instance, President Woodrow Wilson had to enter thefirst Word War so as to create a democratized world. The Second WorldWar was justified as a fight for democracy against Fascism and theCold War rivaled “democracy” against “communism.” Since theend of the Cold War, “democracy promotion” has occupied a centralplace in the U.S. government’s foreign policy rhetoric (Lynch,2014).

Anti-imperialismis the highest level of capitalism for those who may not agree withthe foreign policy. Instead of that al-Qaeda war to end, anothergroup of individuals rose up and with very well establishedterritories. The group was the ISIS. They opposed any foreign policyin their country homes. Let’s take a case in Iraq where the Muslimgroup is divided into two, those who follow the old rules and theother who follow the Wahhabism. This has happened in parts of Iraqwhere Christians and the Jews are being prosecuted since they belongto a different religious background. In this case, the need fordemocracy is not followed.

The US governmentmain goal in Iraq and Syria was to end the war that existed in thesecountries. Many innocent people have died in the hands of theseradical groups. During the war in Iraq, most of the civilians werekilled by the US troops at Fallujah and most of which were women andchildren. After that occurrence, some of the Arabic countries likeSaudi Arabia offered financial assistance to this group by trainingpreachers and building mosques. The main goal of that movement was tocause chaos and confusion since most of them were Jihadists, who seethe killing of non-Muslims as one way of cleansing one’s sins. Thatwas against the US democratic policy.

In Lebanon, mostof the Syrian people fled during the war and occupied Lebanon and metwith Palestinians and thus drew religious boundaries among them andChristians to an extent of electing an individual from their ownreligious affiliations. These religious boundaries created conflictswhere Christians and Muslims fought to acquire government positionsand complete control of power.

When the US andthe British forces went to Afghanistan and Iraq, their main goal wasto destroy the terrorists. However, as a result a more resistantgroup arose from the long established al-Qaeda .This radical groupstook advantage of the war environment and instilling fear toopposition and stealing weapons to expound and move against theinternational peace agreements in the world.

3.2 Energy politics, Oil and Natural Gas

Most of thecountries in the Arabic regions accumulate wealth resources in formof energy, oil and the natural gas. Additionally, the politicalsituation of a country determines its future growth. Countries likethe US have well-established energy systems, and alternative sourcesof energy that use nuclear energy and clean energy. Oil is ratherpreserved for the future use. The political system of a country iswell developed where leaders are appointed democratically, and therights of individual citizens are well respected, policies are wellimplemented this enables a country to grow economically.

During the SecondWorld War the US became the superpower and retained its nuclearenergy, atomic bombs and modern war weapons which are well preservedfor anything that arises in future. With these weapons the country isconsidered politically stable.

The main aim ofthe US government invading Iraq was not for the interest ofdemocracy they rather needed oil energy and Israel support. Sincethe oil in the region helped the US to sustain its economy. Policycritics say that the plan of the US government is to secure the oilsin the Middle East so that it can oversea the biggest share in theproduction of oil. Even though the US talks about democracy, it hasto be seen in action

Saudi Arabia is acountry found in a desert environment, but it’s among thewealthiest countries in the Arabic region. This is because of therich oil reserves found in these countries. With all these wealth,they are able to send finances to ISIS group to enable thecontinuation of its operation. They use the money to build mosquesand training individuals on new religious beliefs.

The US governmentdoes not fully associate with dictatorship kind of leadership. Forinstance, the Libyan leader Muammar Ghadaffi ruled in a dictatorshipway and this was against the US foreign democratic policy. With thecivil wars that happened in Libya, it led to the intervention of theUS troops which helped the country to make a democratic move. Manycountries with Jihadist beliefs have no peace, and this is becausethe group use radicalization and take advantage of their belief tocommit terrorism acts (Lynch,2014).

Iraq was amongst the leading producer of oil in the Arabic countries.The oil wells were destroyed by the bombs thrown to fight against theal-Qaeda group. That had a greater negative influence in the economyof Iraq and even after Saddam Hussein was out of power, the effectcould still be felt. The US government still demands for elections tobe held. In case of the constitution failure, another fresh electionhas to take place and the US government will force the Iraqgovernment to allow the foreign companies to invest in oil so as toincrease the length of their military presence there. The US embassywill be working toward creating an Iraq government that will base itsdecisions on the majority of the Iraqi people. However, it was notclear if the Iraqi government will adapt the pro-American system orthe democratic way of acting When we compare the political system ofIraq and that of Gulf Monarchies or the dictatorship regimes, theIraq government is considered more democratic, since the Gulf has acouncil of guardians who have refused to approve the reformation ofIraq. For that reason, the US government did not acknowledge thelegality of the Iraq government (Joshua, 2005).

Also in areas thathave oil, the oil or gas is available in large amounts, and theoil-gas are imported to other countries hence it acts as a means ofincome to the country it provides employment to the citizens. Most ofthe Arabic countries are in arid areas where vegetation can’t begrown, and so the main source of income is the oil. So, the sourcesof finance for the rebels in these areas are the oil wells they havecaptured. The money that is benefited from these businesses is usedin running terrorist activities

4.0 Conclusion

Oneof the main reasons for electing President Obama was to end thespread of al-Qaeda and its affiliate groups. This was to be achievedthrough various ways of armed combat. Such methods were dronestrikes, partnering with locals and spreading of moderate Islamicideas that had no radicalism in them. He divided the Islamism wartowards a clash of civilizations, and this was seen across the MiddleEast. Obama succeeded in combating al-Qaeda in his first four yearsof presidency. This was promoted by the killing of the al-Qaeda boss,Osama Bin Laden in May of 2011. However, another war wave took theMiddle East by storm. Several uprisings came into being in the Arabworld. Typical groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and itsaffiliates entered the political arena in the course of thisuprisings. They went further in winning the general elections ofTunisia and Egypt. Furthermore, the US was in agreement with theruling of the Muslim Brotherhood after President Hosni Mubarak wasousted from office. This was interpreted as a departure from theprevious policies that disapproved Islamism. Washington believes indemocracy and so should their allies (Lynch,2014).

Withthe invasion of the US in Iraq, many critics argued that it was asuccess in reshaping the Middle East. The claims are supported by thevarious democratic elections that took place in Iraq, Afghanistan andPalestine.

The US governmenthas played a good role in trying to reduce the level of conflict thatexisted it is also trying to make Middle East countries to adoptdemocratic principles.

The best way tosolve this war is through the development of new policies that caterfor both parties and that protect the rights of individuals. Thecountries should adopt a democratic approach in making decisions the election of leaders and appointments. The Arabic countrieslike Saudi Arabia should be in the fore front for fighting againstthe unlawful Jihadist movements. Negotiations should be adapted byany two groups fighting for power and equality for both partiesshould be awaited (Lynch, 2014).

With a welldeveloped human rights groups that fight for individual rights andtraining. it may help in changing the mind set of individuals in theaffected areas.

It’sthe duty of most countries to team up together to fight any groupsthat has negative influences that prove to be an obstacle in economicand political development around the world.

Coming up withgood strategies and policies that are well implemented will ensurethat peace will be attained in these countries and this groups willneed to reverse their energies in economic development rather thanfighting which subsequently hinders the society in terms ofdevelopment and attainment of future goals.

Consequently, it’sthe sole responsibility of all the nations to unite and fightterrorism and create peace among affected countries


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