By: Tori Kearney
Who Are They?
The group began in 2004 as al Qaeda in Iraq, before rebranding as ISIS two years later. It was an ally of -- and had similarities with -- Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda: both were radical anti-Western militant groups devoted to establishing an independent Islamic state in the region. But ISIS -- unlike al Qaeda, which disowned the group in early 2014 -- has proven to be more brutal and more effective at controlling territory it has seized. The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. The Islamic State, by contrast, requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)
In political science and political history, the term power vacuum is an analogy between a physical vacuum, to the political condition "when someone has lost control of something and no one has replaced them." The situation can occur when a government has no identifiable central power or authority and this leaves a vacuum were any real power can just step right in.
b. HOW WAS ISIS ABLE TO GROW TO THE SIZE AND SCOPE THEY ARE NOW?
Isis has secured huge cashflows from oilfields in eastern Syria, which it commandeered in late 2012. It also reaped windfalls from the smuggling of raw materials plundered from the crumbling state and priceless antiquities from archeological digs. Computer sticks captured just before the fall of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have shown the full extent of the group's finances. Before Mosul, total cash and assets of Isis came to $875million. After Mosul, the group's financial assets are estimated to be about $2billion, with money taken from banks and military supplies captured. Isis now controls territory that stretches from the eastern edge of Aleppo, in Syria, to Falluja, Mosul and now Tal Afar in Iraq.
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT LEAD TO THIS FORMATION?
Just the pure anarchy that is parts of the Middle East and this coupled with the power vacuum gave ISIS the perfect opportunity to swoop in and claim what they wanted. There ideology also attracts a large amount of people to them and they have taken a majority of their assets by force.
My Dad - My dad thinks that ISIS is like Al-Qaeda and it is just a matter of time before they slowly die out as people and their followers realize just how insane what they are doing and preaching is.
My Brother - He thought that ISIS was here to stay and that if the world didn’t start to immediately take them more seriously then we would experience many more Paris attacks.
I think as the President you can’t be scared of the backlash or what other countries might think sometimes you just have to do what you know is right. And what is right here is bombing and launching an attack on ISIS. Not necessarily boots on the ground but the US has the resources to effectively destroy ISIS without the loss of American life.
WOULD YOU CLOSE THE BORDERS? ARE YOU AFRAID OF A DOMESTIC ATTACK?
I think that it is a very real possibility that we need to be prepared and ready for. It is almost unavoidable as we have seen with the recent Californian attacks. We just need a very strong vetting and review process for immigrants along with ensuring our borders are secure.
WOULD YOU SEND TROOPS TO THE MIDDLE EAST?
NO, it would be Iraq and Afghanistan all over again. There are plenty of things America can do without putting boots on the ground, specifically air strikes.
"The Backround of ISIS." The Guardian. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/16/isis-islamic-state-iraq-levant-q-and-a>.
Wood, Graeme. "What ISIS Really Wants." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 15 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/>.
"Is ISIS a Threat to the US." ABC. ABC NEWs CORP, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FWN%2Ffullpage%2Fisis-trail-terror-isis-threat-us-25053190>.