The fearsome threat of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) continues to grow everyday as we continue to normally live our lives. We hear about their terroristic movements all of the time, but we subconsciously ignore the threat. As you read this, they are growing stronger and killing more people. Middle Eastern countries are currently fighting the threat that endangers their existence, but how long can they last against ISIS? For how long will the U.S. and its allies continue their neutrality tactic? These are questions that are asked each day, but what are the answers.
Cathedral Prep social studies faculty members Mr. Flanagan and Mr. Parsons agreed to share some of their knowledge about the situation. They first started by acknowledging some of the basic facts. ISIS is not a current threat to the United States because they are aware of the military gap between them and will not do something to threaten us.
The main threat to the U.S. by ISIS is Middle Eastern oil. “As long as the oil supply is safe,” says Mr. Flanagan, “we do not have to go to war with them.” Even though the U.S. gets most of its oil from Canada, countries like Saudi Arabia give us a good amount that will cause a huge impact on the economy if the oil production from them is disturbed. Mr. Parsons believes that Saudi Arabia will also have a part of this scenario. “They have many human rights violations,” Mr. Parsons said. “They mistreat women, public executions, etc. We would have to go after them eventually. ISIS is well aware, from the war with Iraq, that U.S. will take actions if necessary.”
“However, we are looking at a possible World War III if we have to go to war with ISIS and the Mid East oil supply is threatened” says Mr. Flanagan. ISIS has a unique, yet disturbing method of intimidation. “Their ways to handle hostages are a variation of militancy,” Mr. Flanagan says. “Some may choose to kill, torture them publicly to spread the message and to intimidate, while others may use hostages to gain a political or military advantage against enemies.” With the recent video released by ISIS of the Jordanian pilot that was burnt alive Jordan began to take an active role against ISIS. They are currently at war with ISIS. “Jordan and the U.S. share an expedient nature of alliance,” says Mr. Flanagan. “It is a flux kind of alliance meaning we aid each other if needed.”
Now to answer one of the biggest questions: What should the U.S. do at the present time?
“The U.S. should provide air support, technology, and whatever else is necessary to help our allies and prevent ISIS, or any other group of that nature, from taking control of Middle East,” Mr. Flanagan says, “The only time we need to commit combat troops is if ISIS is about to seize control. Attempting to force feed other countries our style and method of government isn’t something we should do.”
For a bit of a historical background, the U.S. has faced two similar situations where they have been dragged into conflict in a different continent: World War I and World War II. In World War I, it was the Zimmerman Telegram, and in World War II, it was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Is there any repetition of events?
“Yes,” Mr. Parsons says, “the whole situation with Putin and the purification of Russians is similar to the actions of Hitler and protecting the purification of Germans. It is also a repetitive situation with ISIS and Middle East. How long can we watch and not do anything?”
The U.S. could be taking a lot of heat due to ISIS’s power expansion, but Mr. Parsons believes that it’s not only the United States to be blamed. “We would ideally avoid boots on the ground to avoid the loss of U.S life, but we have to do something. Whether that be air support, financial aid, humanitarian support, or more, we have to help destroy a major threat to world peace ad stability. The entire world community is also a part of this and need to take action.”
“This is a never ending war against terrorism,” says Mr. Parsons. “We are not fighting just a group of people; we are fighting an ideology that cannot be simply defeated by a matter of annihilating the enemy. For every man we kill, another 10 join. It is just a matter of how long can we stand and watch as they grow stronger day by day. A situation that no one wants to be involved in”.