The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, ISIS/ISIL, has dominated the national stage as the bigger and badder version of former boogie man Al-Qaeda. Unlike the parent organization, ISIS is terrifying in its ability to recruit members and self-fund staggering amounts, but ISIS has successfully captured tracks of land and cities across the northern regions of Iraq and Syria. ISIS’s control of land is an alarming achievement and presents a major problem to the globe as the terrorist organization is methodically establishing itself as a state.
This wildly successful and brutal group has been subjected to United States airstrikes, yet continues to grow and gain influence. Other nations have made it illegal for citizens to leave the country and join ISIS, going as far as confiscating passports of those who try. However, attempts have fallen short as ISIS is still attempting to attack and capture territories and cities in both Iraq and Syria. The terrorist organization employs brutal tactics, which clearly constitute human rights violations, in its quest to establish an Islamic state. The question is not whether something should be done but what and who.
The United States is in the process of getting Congressional approval for another round of airstrikes. But is this really the course of action that should be taken? Consider this: the United States has been embroiled in the Middle East and in Iraq since the 1990s. It would not be unfair to say that Iraq has been non-sovereign and nothing more than a protectorate for over 20 years. As such, direct intervention by the United States would be detrimental. Certainly ISIS is a problem, but having the United States once again step in for the government of Iraq would further cripple sovereignty of a failing state.
Instead of allowing the United States and associate allies to take charge on the issue of dealing with ISIS, there should be unified effort through a global body like the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The UNSC has released support for Iraq and Syria in dealing with the terrorist organization but has yet to make a decisive action. This in part may be because the United States, one of the permanent Council members, is more content to act on its own.
By going through, the UNSC not only is a serious threat dealt with, but is done so in a way that will possibly help to restore the sovereignty of Iraq. Because of the constant international interference in Iraq, the government has not had the ability to prop itself up as legitimate since U.S. troop withdrawal. If the United States were to get involved, Iraq could very well go from a failing state to a failed state. Such an occurrence would be disastrous for the already unstable Middle East. ISIS needs to be dealt with and swiftly, but in a way that encourages cohesion among many countries, not just western superpowers, and in a way that secures the reestablishment of Iraq’s sovereignty and keeps it from becoming a failed state.