Isis's Present State in the Middle East Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1847 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

¶ … ISIL

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which is also known as the Islamic State, has emerged as a major security threat in the recent past and has contributed to the emergence of a new face of terrorism. The emergence and growth of this group is attributed to its adherence to a unique variety of Islam whose beliefs regarding the Day of Judgment is crucial to its strategy. ISIS's rise to power is also partly attributed to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt whose leaders are regarded as apostates by leaders of the Islamic State. Since its inception, ISIS has carried out attacks that have not only demonstrated a new dimension of terrorism but has also shown why it remains an urgent and terrible threat to the Middle East and global security. As a result, several measures have been taken by various governments and security agencies to help in dealing with the threat of ISIS. Currently, the Islamic State is not on the verge of defeat given the lack of guarantee of its total destruction.

Brief History of ISIS

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The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which is simply known as the Islamic State has developed as a terrorist group that has surpassed al Qaeda as the greatest jihadist concern and threat (Cronin, 2015). The 9/11 terror attacks demonstrated that the U.S. government was inadequately prepared to confront and completely destroy traditional enemies. As a result, Washington embarked on a process of developing a comprehensive military structure to deal with several jihadist organizations that have become threats to global security. During this process, the American government adapted its intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies to counterinsurgency and counterterrorism activities. While these efforts have been helpful in dealing with some terrorist groups and organizations like al Qaeda, they have not prevented the emergence of new jihadist organizations like ISIS.

Research Paper on Isis's Present State in the Middle East Assignment

ISIS has not only emerged as a new jihadist organization but developed to an extent that is surpasses al Qaeda as a major threat to global security, particularly security in the Middle East region. Even though the organization shares certain similarities with al Qaeda, it's neither al Qaeda nor an outburst or part of the conventional radical Islamic organization. Actually, the Islamic State is considered as the post-al Qaeda jihadist threat though it is not a representation of the new phase of al-Qaeda's evolution. Despite being labeled a terrorist organization, ISIS does not fit that description and comprises 30,000 fighters who hold territory in Syria and Iraq. The organization maintains comprehensive military abilities, controls infrastructure, controls communication, funds itself, and participates in complicated military activities and operations. Therefore, ISIS can be described as a pseudo-state led by a traditional army, which has made it difficult for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism measures to diminish its threat.

In the past few months, the Islamic State has evolved from being a purely military force to developing a system that offers basic services to its citizens through ensuring and promoting the availability of food and gas. The organization's bureaucratic hierarchy is similar to those of some Western nations in light of its cabinet, governors, and financial and legislative agencies or bodies (Thompson & Shubert, 2015). The bureaucratic hierarchy and structure of the Islamic State comprises two deputies and veteran military officials who worked under Saddam Hussein. The two deputies oversee Iraq and Syria because the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has split the governance of this region into Iraqi and Syrian branches. In light of its recent operations, ISIS is developing into a government whose military capabilities are intertwined with its political decision-making processes.

Ultimate Goals of ISIS

While ISIS has been likened and described as al Qaeda, which is still dangerous through affiliates in Yemen and North Africa, it is relatively different to an extent that it is seemingly ISIS's successor. The ideology, rhetoric, and ultimate goals of ISIS are similar to those of al Qaeda since the two organizations were once formally allied. These similarities emerge from the fact that ISIS knows that the ability to sustain itself as a lasting and viable political, religious, economic and military group requires following similar objectives instituted by al Qaeda. These objectives were established by al Qaeda at a time when Osama bin Laden disconnected from the Saudi monarchy and committed himself to destroy the house of Saud. Despite the similarities in ideology, rhetoric, and long-term goals, there are some differences in the ultimate goals of ISIS.

As reflected in its mission statement, one of the ultimate goals of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is to establish a new caliphate throughout the Middle East (Tognotti, 2014). This has been one of its mission goals that its leaders have voiced and expressed through various activities from time to time. The concept of a new caliphate in the Middle East region as envisioned by ISIS is the idea of a huge Islamic State that incorporates all Muslims across the globe. Secondly, ISIS seeks to overthrow the current governments of wobbly, heavily Islamic nations and institute their own theocratic state. This is considered as a crucial step towards the establishment of a new caliphate in the Middle East. In its efforts towards establishing a new caliphate that includes all Muslims throughout the world, ISIS also focuses on seizing and securing the most significant nation in the Muslim world i.e. Saudi Arabia. Third, ISIS seeks to control territory and infrastructure through increased recruitment of members, capitalizing on opportunities to conquer new lands, and spreading their influence to other regions. Fourth, the Islamic State is seemingly dedicated to fueling conflict with the United States as a short-term political goal that could culminate in launching attacks against the United States and Europe. The conflict with the U.S. is attributed to the likelihood of America to thwart ISIS's march towards controlling the oilfields of Saudi Arabia and eventually the rest of the Gulf region.

Current State of the Islamic State

Based on recent events, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or the Islamic State is losing its war for control of the Middle East region. However, this is relatively difficult to believe and understand since ISIS still holds a stretch of territory in the Middle East that is larger than the United Kingdom. An understanding of how ISIS is losing its war for the Middle East is further complicated by the fact that its huge territory in Iraq and Syria is manned steadily by a stream of foreign fighters who continue to devote themselves to the group's ultimate goals and beliefs. Despite losing its war for the Middle East, ISIS is still an urgent and terrible threat to the Middle East since it is far from being defeated and being totally destroyed (Beauchamp, 2015).

Following months of expansion and victories, ISIS seems to be losing its war for the Middle East because it is now being beaten back by Coalition forces. As Coalition airstrikes have continued against ISIS, the group has been forced to lose territory in significant places in Iraq and Syria as well as the Middle East. These airstrikes have prevented the ability of the Islamic State to further its influence in and control of the Middle East through interfering with its capability to wage offensive war. As these airstrikes hinders ISIS's ability to prepare and launch an offensive war, the group has been left with no friends to turn to for assistance. Moreover, the Islamic State's loss of its grip on the war for the Middle East is attributed to its unsustainable governance model that risks collapse in the long-term.

ISIS loss in the war for the Middle East has also been fueled by initiatives that have been undertaken by the Iraqi government and its allies to counter the group's offensive war strategies and activities. In the beginning of 2013, the Islamic State launched an offensive war in Iraq that swept throughout northern Iraq and culminated in controlling the country's second-largest city, Mosul. During this period, ISIS was seemingly unstoppable since its offensive war and rampage enabled it to conquer significant places in Iraq. Since then, the situation has changed largely because of strategies and initiatives adopted by the Iraqi government and its allies. The Iraqi government has not only prepared a counter-offensive war that focused on regaining control of Mosul but also worked with its allies to turn the tide against the Islamic State. While these efforts have been prepared and conducted unevenly and slowly, they have had significant impacts that have contributed to pushing back ISIS.

Kurdish forces have also played a pivotal role in turning the tide against ISIS through their threats and initiatives to cut off a highway that has been acting as the main supply line for the Islamic State between Iraq and Syria in northern Iraq. These forces have taken control of the town of Sinjar, which is situated on the highway and continued to seize significant portions of places in the longer stretch of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Isis's Present State in the Middle East.  (2015, June 25).  Retrieved May 13, 2021, from

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"Isis's Present State in the Middle East."  June 25, 2015.  Accessed May 13, 2021.