The modern world is technology-driven. In addition to that, the modern world is characterized by the process of globalization and multiculturalism. The development of science and technology has many positive aspects. On the other hand, the uncontrolled advancement of technology causes most of the environmental problems that exist nowadays. In other words, such problems are associated with the activity of mankind. The energetic crisis is considered to be one of the primary environmental, economic, and political problems. The records show that there were very few people who pursued violence seeking to dominate the world. The beginning of the new millennium has become a new period in the struggle against terror. The events of the Arab Spring testified that a new terrible and influential force has appeared in the world – the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. The combatants of the ISIS are recruited in nearly all corners of the world. At the same time, the influx of refugees into Europe has increased as the military conflict in the Persian Gulf has escalated. Still, the most influential countries of the world are incapable of giving an adequate and appropriate response to the threat of terrorism. Moreover, they do not know how to solve the Syrian conflict properly. Due to the existing situation, hundreds of millions of lives are at risk of death. Considering the fact that the wealth and resources are unevenly distributed, there are great numbers of people who support the capitalist way of life and those who strongly disapprove of it. Under all circumstances, the authorities should give their peoples a chance to live a peaceful and free life. With the time, the life of people is becoming more difficult as the rich increase their wealth, nature is suffering, the connection between people is becoming weaker, and the people themselves are becoming more cruel and radicalized.
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How the Islamic State has come into being? (Examination of different theories)
Historical causes of the Islamic State’s emergence
The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham is typically referred to as a group of radicalized Arab guerillas that poses a threat to the existence of the State of Iraq. ISIS is formed and supported by the assumed American allies in the Persian Gulf region. In that particular area, restoring peace and stability was considered one of the priorities of the United States (Rogin, 2014). The United States attacked Iraq in 1990 in an attempt to free Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein’s regime (Rogin, 2014). In the years that followed, radicalized, influential, and wealthy groups from Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia contributed to the creation of such formation as ISIS. Iraq can be viewed as an example of a state, the authorities of which approved and supported radicalization and internal strives. Radicalized groups made a profit of the economic and political instability in some of the states in the Persian Gulf region (Rogin, 2014). For some period of time, the Iraqi Prime Minister has been publicly blaming Saudi Arabia and Qatar for funding ISIS. Mass media have reported the private Gulf funding that could have possibly contributed to the fragmentation of Syrian opposition and allowed ISIS and other radicalized rebel groups to come into being (Rogin, 2014). The funding of Sunni extremist groups was reduced in the course of the United States’ significant pressure on the Arab Gulf governments. The Shiite-Sunni regional military conflict in the Persian Gulf is escalating inevitably (Rogin, 2014). Therefore, the Gulf regimes are forced to become one of the parties conducting warfare (Rogin, 2014). The Brookings Institution is believed to be funded from the Qatari movement. The institution has reported that as of December 2013 the “donors in Kuwait, the Sunni majority Kingdom on Iraq’s border, have taken advantage of Kuwait’s weak financial rules to channel hundreds of millions of dollars to a host of Syrian rebel brigades” (Rogin, 2014). The Gulf leaders have made a statement that the President of the United States Barak Obama can sabotage his prior decision not to strike Bashar Assad’s regime if they use chemical weapons (Rogin, 2014). Consequently, the U.S. policy in Syria has lost its credibility. Hence, the Gulf leaders, “confronted with the problem”, found it necessary to fund Syrian extremist groups (Rogin, 2014). The foregoing aspects have been articulated by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the representative and leader of Saudi intelligence since 2012 and former Saudi ambassador in Washington (Rogin, 2014). Developing the statement further, it should be noted that Saudi Arabia has begun to play a leadership role since 2014. Hence, Saudi Arabia started providing help to the Syrian guerillas and by so doing it displaced Qatar (Rogin, 2014) Qatar, in its turn, is reputed as a country supporting most radicalized and violent groups of the Arab World. ISIS, for example, is officially regarded as the successor of al-Qaeda. The fact that ISIS was created is worrying in itself. Still, the most worrying it is for the Syrian opposition, “which is now fighting a war on two fronts”. The Syrian opposition is “severely outmanned and outgunned” by the extremist groups and the existing regime (Rogin, 2014). It can be assumed the Assad’s administration is collaborating with ISIS to defeat the Free Syrian Army (Rogin, 2014).
Another approach to understanding how ISIS has come into being is the following. The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham is often viewed as the result of Arab Uprisings, invasions of Iraq, and the Syrian civil war (Sakai, 2015, p. 265). ISIS poses a threat to global/international safety. Furthermore, ISIS may negatively influence the temporary peace of the modern world. ISIS emerged due to the mistakes the nations of the world have made during the post-Iraq War period (after the year 2013) and during the Syrian Civil War (starting from 2011) (Sakai, 2015, p. 265). Disappointment among the Iraqi civilian population was caused mostly by mismanagement, lack of professionalism, and corruption of the post-war government. Political stakeholders did not approve power-sharing among the various social and political forces. In addition, the authorities have failed to establish a kind of government that could have promoted national unity, especially during the second term of Maliki’s premiership (Sakai, 2015, p. 266). Under all circumstances, it cannot be denied that ISIS has taken advantage of the political, economic, and social instability, particularly through seizing control of Mosul and other Iraqi cities in the central-north area. The fact that ISIS had been established has proved how doubtful were peace and stability in the countries of the Persian Gulf. Apart from that, it has revealed “how weak the national consciousness of the newly established National Army of Iraq was” and how strongly disappointed were the marginalized and radicalized Sunni groups in the North and West of Iraq. Furthermore, the Islamic State’s creating showed “how dependent the regime was on Shi’ite religious devotion for national security” (as cited in Sakai, 2015, p. 266).
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Identity is counted among the primary determining factors. Particularly, it is claimed that identity within the context of the situation in the Middle East regulates the relations between the state and non-state participants. With regard to this, it should be noted that such concepts as Arabness, tribal networks, and religion are counted among the primary sub-national and/or supra-national types of identity. The particular entities (concepts) introduce, generalize, and determine the notion of shared identity “on which regional system can be established” (Sakai, 2015, p. 268). The state system that exists nowadays in the Middle East appeared as a part of the post-WWI international order. The system of post-WWI international order in the Middle East did not take the locals’ conception of the notion of homeland (Wataniya) (Sakai, 2015, p. 268). On the other hand, the Middle East nowadays plays a pivotal role in international politics. The path of colonial powers to Asia lies in the Middle East. In addition, the Middle East has played the role of the frontline in the Cold War rivalry. Hence, “regional order in this area has been deeply related to international security and has seen much intervention by external actors” (Sakai, 2015, p. 268). The model of the post-WWI organization of the world can be viewed as an example of how the imposed regional orders interact with the norms based on traditional social identity. That kind of interaction has led to inevitable local authentic resistance, rejection, and frustration over Western colonialist/imperialist policies. Albert Hourani has pointed out that Islamic reformism, Pan-Arabism, socialism/communism, liberal nationalism, and the tribal/ethnic uprisings for independence emerged as a response to the Western colonialist/imperialist policies (as cited in Sakai, 2015, p. 268). The aforementioned ideologies have gained momentum in different parts of the world and, thus, transformed into the major political movements in the respective period of time (the time after WWI) (Sakai, 2015, p. 268). Arab Nationalism is also referred to as the “regional order based on supra-state identity” (Sakai, 2015, p. 268). Arab Nationalism was supported by the young local leaders in contrast to the existing order of the local territorial states (Sakai, 2015, p. 269).
The Kingdom of Jordan and Arab extremism: Examination of the case
The process of creating a regional order in the Middle East was influenced by the events of the cold war. Thus, it has been needed to create the pro-Western blocks in the Middle-East. The Baghdad Pact has become the predecessor of the process. The pact was signed by Iran, Iraq, and Jordan. After Iraq has withdrawn from the Pact, Turkey and Iran have become the major force resisting the Soviet Union’s expansion eastward (Sakai, 2015, p. 269). At that time, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan were the member states of CENTO (1955-1979) (Sakai, 2015, p. 269). Arab monarchies in the Middle-East deeply relied on their support of their Western allies. In such respect, what both stakeholders feared most was Arab Nationalism that could have possibly spread mainly from “Nasserism in Egypt and the Ba’thism of Syria and Iraq” (Sakai, 2015, p. 269).
Since Jordan has become a state in 1921, its sovereignty and geopolitical centrality have been ambiguously defined (Susser, 2015). Jordan has always been strongly affected by regional political developments and ideological trends (Susser, 2015). For that particular reason, the state’s authorities were incapable of controlling the social and political situation with the state itself (Susser, 2015). Currently, Jordan makes an attempt to struggle “with the regional fallout of the “Arab Spring” and with the new phenomenon of ISIS” as the extremist uprisings violate “the state order in the kingdom’s immediate neighborhood” (Susser, 2015).
Islamic radicalization in various parts of the Middle-East region has had an impact on Jordan’s domestic politics. The activity of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has declined in the past few years (Susser, 2015). As a result, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has been replaced by a more militarized group, jihadi Salafis (Susser, 2015). Salafis position themselves as the allies and supporters of organizations like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (Susser, 2015). With regard to such fact, it is admitted that “since the 1980s, the Muslim Brotherhood and its political party, the Islamic Action Front, had been the largest and best organized political opposition to the regime in Jordan” (Susser, 2015).
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The supporters of ISIS reckon that the Islamic State itself in parts of Syria and Iraq plays the role of the so-called “zone or home of enablement”, known as diyar al-tamkin (Susser, 2015). In addition, the supporters of ISIS are the proponents of conquering the rest of Bilad al-Sham (or Greater Syria). The conquest of Syria circumstantially means Jordan’s loss of sovereignty (Susser, 2015). However, the researchers are inclined to think that it is not the conquest that poses a threat. On the contrary, the real threat is represented by the subversion “directed from ISIS bases in Iraq or from Jabhat al-Nusra bases in Syria, in collaboration with Salafi sympathizers in Jordan” (Susser, 2015). Developing the foregoing statement further, it should be noted that the great number of people of Jordan does not approve the Kingdom’s role in fighting against the Islamic State (Susser, 2015). Jordan has always being playing an important role in an anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States of America. Particularly, Jordan deploys the U.S. air force and provides logistical support and training grounds for the so-called moderate Syrian opposition (Susser, 2015). Apparently, the defeat of ISIS is one of the priorities of Jordan authorities and one of the Kingdom’s state interests (Susser, 2015). In other words, Jordan pursues the goal of minimizing the casualties and overpowering the threats ISIS currently represents (Susser, 2015). The people of Jordan, however, are inclined to think that the war against terrorism and the Islamic State in particular “is America’s war, which is being directed against their own Sunni coreligionists” (Susser, 2015). To support such statement, Susser admits that the people of Jordan view the Jabhat al-Nusra combatants (guerilla troops) not as terrorist but rather as the “men fighting for a just cause against their Shiite-historical rivals” (2015). The causes for a position like that are as follows. Firstly, the political and economic instability that exists within the Kingdom of Jordan are interdependent. Social, economic, and political instability, in its turn, contributes to the fact that the younger generations in Jordan become attracted to Salafism and Jihadism (Susser, 2015). In addition, many young men in Jordan are unemployed, which leaves them very few (if any) prospects. Still, they pursue a prosperous life for their families and themselves. As a result, radicalization and terrorist activity become their only chance to have their basic requirements met (Susser, 2015). At the same time, Jordan has been coping properly with all the instabilities and external threats it has been facing since the fallout of the “Arab Spring” (Susser, 2015). It has occurred mostly due to Jordan’s “well-developed states and domestic cohesion”, the resilience of the state’s intellectual and political elite, the goodwill and well-established strategic interests of its allies (Susser, 2015). The possible solutions to all problems that Jordan is currently facing are difficult to foresee, and, thus, to elaborate and implement them. Specifically, the foregoing premise can be applied to the possible solutions of ISIS and the Salafi Challenge, economic problems, and the Palestine question. In such respect, Susser claims the following:
In all likelihood, Jordanians will continue to muddle through, as they have been doing for decades. But that will require increasingly precarious balancing acts and ever more generous assistance from Jordan’s friends in the U.S. and elsewhere. Such assistance, however, might not suffice. And it might not be available indefinitely, either (2015).
The Islamic State crisis vs. U.S. Policies
On September 10, 2014, President Obama claimed that his administration will work with the utmost effectiveness to elaborate the adequate and appropriate response to the threat of global terrorism and to defeat the Islamic State (as cited in CRS, 2015). The United States of America is reputed as a major force undertaking direct military action to combat ISIS. Hence, the United States provides training, advice, and equipment for its allies’ ground forces in Iraq and Syria (CRS, 2015). Specifically, the following measures are being taken: – collecting and sharing intelligence; – combining efforts to defeat ISIS economically (CRS, 2015). All the parties being involved that operate in a united front against the Islamic State realize that it is needed to “to progressively shrink the geographic and political space”, reduce the funding and manpower of ISIS. The strategy of U.S. authorities is typically addressed as “Iraq-first” and “ISIL-first” (CRS, 2015). The aforementioned set of actions was criticized by Congress. The Congressmen, in their turn, claim that closer attention should be paid to the Syrian Civil War and more efforts should be made to evict President Bashar al-Assad’s regime (CRS, 2015). Till September 2014, the U.S. engagement in Syria conflict was determined by staying focused mainly on helping the people of Syria to combat the Islamic State guerillas and supporting a political way of resolving the conflict in Syria (CRS, 2015). After Daniel Rubinstein (the U.S. special Envoy for Syria) visited Moscow in May 2015, it has become clear that the conflict had reached the critical point. The Ambassador claimed that “the Syrian regime’s brutal actions have contributed to the growth of extremism” (as cited CRS, 2015). Developing his statement, Daniel Rubinstein asserted that combating ISIS “would require both military steps and a comprehensive political solution that addresses the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people” (as cited CRS, 2015). At the same time, the Envoy admitted that Bashar al-Assad’s administration continues exacerbating sectarianism and extremism not only in Syria but in the region of the Persian Gulf (as cited in CRS, 2015). Some representatives of the Syrian opposition, in their turn, make a statement that they require more solid economic, political, and military support from the United States and its allies (CRS, 2015). In addition, some Syrian parties cast doubt on the U.S. engagement in Syria in a sense that the United States itself and its allies take military actions to halt ISIS atrocities and combat the group, but do very little to protect the civilians (CRS, 2015). The following problems/dilemmas arise as a result. On one hand, the forces of the Syrian opposition that fight against the Islamic State welcome the U.S. engagement in the conflict. At the same time, the Syrian opposition questions why the U.S. takes no political, economic, or military leverages to oust Assad and his administration in order to “degrade IS capabilities in Syria” (CRS, 2015). The Administration’s policy initiatives are called to press on Assad and prove to the rest of the world that the responsibility for what is occurring is on people who used the weapon and force first, and on those who conduct political dialogue with the help of blackmail, propaganda, and spreading the prejudices. The U.S. authorities made a decision to resume warfare in case Assad’s government uses chemical weapons. The U.S. officials are concerned that a full-scale degradation of the Islamic State forces in Syria might have unexpected consequences. Specifically, the U.S. authorities presume that a more aggressive campaign against the Islamic State may reduce military pressure on the Assad regime. Consequently, there is some risk that the United States and its allies may create opportunities for other extremist groups, such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra, to advance (CRS, 2015). Some critics of President Barack Obama’s administration argue that current U.S. strategies of combating ISIS lack efficacy (CRS, 2015).
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The Arab World: Examination of the international factors that led to Islamic State’s coming into being
Kurds who supported the U.S. intervention in Iraq collaborate with Sunnis against the central government because the fear of tyranny of the majority and being marginalized is strong within the Arab people. Upon issuing an arrest warrant, Tariq al-Hashimi has taken refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan for some time (Azkat, 2015, p. 57). Later, Iraqi coalition refused to struggle for power, which has resulted in the escalation of the religious conflicts (Azkat, 2015, p. 57). Protests in Sunni provinces and, especially, in Al-Anbar were caused by a series of arrests of Iraqi officials (Azkat, 2015, p. 57). As the conflict has begun to gain momentum, it involved the Parliament and Iraqi cabinet (Azkat, 2015, p. 57). Iraqi’s army had to use military force to suppress the protesters (Azkat, 2015, p. 57). Maliki’s command to destroy protesters’ tents made the protesters furious. At the same time, Nouri al-Maliki’s was not as strong as the U.S. government. Consequently, the Iraqi government was incapable of providing military budget and standing against security threats (Azakat, 2015, p. 58). As a result, the Islamic State guerillas were met by some as saviors, especially by the Sunnis who were discontented and disappointed with the status quo (Azakat, 2015, p. 58). Therefore, no one opposed when the ISIS troops captured Sunni regions (Azkat, 2015, p. 58).
One of the main reasons why the Islamic State has come into being is, in fact, the support from the marginalized Sunni groups. Marginalization itself took place after the United States attacked Iraq. Technically, ISIS guerillas took advantage of the social, economic, and political instability of Iraq and gained a foothold in one of the districts of the Persian Gulf that was significant politically and economically.
The Islamic State: Global dimension
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has proved itself to be a terrible and influential terrorist force. The authorities of the world countries admit how controversial the nature of that particular organization is. Apart from that, terrorism is addressed as one of the most important social and political problems of our age. Publicity influences the state’s administrations’ counter-terrorist policy simply because it is in the nature of a man to experience fear and be intolerant of violence and cruelty. The states’ administrations, in their turn, display a readiness to take their full responsibility for the actions they undertake to combat terrorist groups. The U.S. authorities, for instance, have extended the rights of such organizations as the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Central Intelligence Agency (Sandler, 2011, p. 404). One of the primary objectives of FBI and CIA is to investigate the cases associated with the individuals’ terrorist actions. ISIS as a group is known for the malice and cruelty of its members (Wood 2015). Internet propaganda and intimidation are the main strategies employed by the marginalized and radicalized group (Engdahl, 2014). Hence, F. William Engdahl states that “the myth of ISIS invisibility is … crumbling with astonishing rapidity” (2014). ISIS is regarded as a successor of al-Qaeda (Engdahl, 2014). The essence of ISIS as a group, its purpose, and activity, are not completely understood as it does not seem possible to separate truth from fiction (Engdahl, 2014). Numerous videos are published on Islamic State’s channel on YouTube, which depicts the scenes of executions of journalists (Engdahl, 2014). Some of the videos are faked, but the other ones prove how cruel the ISIS combatants are. Lastly, it cannot be denied that there are some U.S. officials who are interested and make efforts to continue the U.S. engagement in Iraqi conflict (Engdahl, 2014).
The future of ISIS as a religious, social, and political movement. Global safety and response to the threat of terrorism
The future of ISIS is determined by the peoples of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunis, and Jordan in the first place (Zelin, 2011, p. 7). It is caused by the fact that the citizens of the aforementioned countries live in the immediate proximity of the frontline. For the same reason, the future stability and peace in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle-East depend on whether the citizens of Lebanon, Tunis, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan will withstand the ideological and military attacks or not.
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It cannot be denied that with time all the armed groups that exist nowadays may be defeated and disappear. ISIS makes no exception. However, it does not mean that the nations of the world should not give any response to the threat of terrorism. As the military conflict in the Persian Gulf has reached the critical point of already, military case scenario is inevitable. Personally, I believe that the economic and political impact on President Bashar al-Assad and his government should be done by all means. Anyways, the political and economic means of affecting the Syrian authorities and ISIS as an organization that is anti-social by nature may fail. Mostly, the risks associated with the terrorist activity of the individuals are difficult to foresee. For this reason, solving the global safety crisis is a challenging task.
The Islamic State is a political, religious, and social cult that has come into being as a successor of al-Qaeda. There were both the external and internal factors that have made a contribution to the Islamic state’s emergence. The United States of America is at war with ISIS due to many reasons. One of them is the attack on September the 11th 2001 when the United States of America has been victimized in the course of the most cynical and cruel terrorist act in the history of mankind. Apart from that, ISIS poses a threat to global safety as well. The best solution to the problem being discussed is the following. The nations of the world should combine efforts to elaborate and implement the economic and political mechanisms to evict President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and stop the funding of ISIS guerillas.