ISIS will never become a serious and credible "state" in the world. They have made it clear that they don't care much for international diplomacy or law and that only Shariah can be used to govern their new state. A fanatical force like this does well at first; they carry out brutal acts, capture swaths of land, steal, murder, rape, perform forced conversions to Islam and run a well-oiled recruiting machine – but this can only last for a while, because sooner or later their resources are depleted and the circus over. So, you want to crush ISIS? Better act fast. Here's a short list of their Achilles' heals.
1. ISIS is militarily overextended and hopelessly ineffective against a trained and well equipped army. Although they're led by a few savage Chechens and some Arab militants who answer to a mysterious bearded man who calls himself "Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi," it will take only one crushing defeat to completely demoralize their forces – which so far have only shown their prowess in gunning down heretics (Shia, Yazidi, Christians and some ethnic Turkmen), beheading children and foreigners and stealing some old military equipment left behind by the U.S. and Russia.
2. ISIS is already showing signs of weaknesses as defectors are already coming out of the woodwork in its ranks. It's starting to look more like the disillusioned young fighters who joined ISIS are coming to realize the real horrors of what's going on and realizing that mass murder is neither cool nor easy to watch.
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3. ISIS has already started to become a victim of their own hatred in the Islamic world on account of calling themselves a caliphate, not only undermining the existing rulers and religious elite, but doing so with violent acts in a public way that is tantamount to bragging. The burning alive of the Jordanian pilot revealed this week is a prime example. Their philosophy is that by being the rulers of an Islamic caliphate, they are not only "holier than thou" but that all Muslims should join and live under Shariah law.
Let's face the facts: King Salman, the new king of Saudia Arabia, won't be bending his knee to the self-proclaimed leader of the caliphate anytime soon, despite ISIS claiming that the rest of the Muslim leaders are their vassals, almost de-legitimizing the existing religious collective. Further, although thievery and smuggling are profitable and keep the ISIS war machine moving forward, their only source of wealth is smuggling cheap energy and hostage taking, neither of which is sustainable in the long term – especially when your key supplies of oil can be hit by a coalition-led airstrike at any one point. All in all, this is not how you establish a state.
4. ISIS has united the world against them, which is really quite stupid. Simply put, they took a legitimate cause – namely, Maliki & Company treating Sunni Iraqis like dirt – had some success recruiting some bigger thugs through a skilled PR campaign and basically built up their view as a divine endorsement to slaughter anyone who disagrees with them. The results are clear: There is no one left in the world allied to them. Even Iran opposes them because they are genocidal.
One thing is obvious: If we – the United States of America – are going to stop ISIS, it'll take more than just air strikes. This is not a personal opinion but the opinion of some very informed defense and intelligence personnel in our military establishment.
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I am afraid our approach to ISIS seems a lot like our approach to Ebola. Contain it and let the disease be treated under quarantine. Well, let me tell you, there is no way on planet Earth ISIS will be contained this way.
These thugs will not go easy, and we've already lost a lot of time over the last year going over this again and again.
Postponing things will not make the situation better or easier, but worst; and allying ourselves with Iran to defeat ISIS is the riskiest proposition of all. People who understand these sorts of things and have done nothing are already regretting it.
I say let's put some real force on the ground and obliterate the cancer.
The world will not see prosperity again without global security, and this is the best time ever to gain prosperity and avoid a global economic chaos given the repercussions of ISIS' actions in the world.