Germany and Islamic Military Intervention
International Relations POLS1160
The Islamic State is a region in the Middle East that is an unrecognized state with a self-declared government. They control a landmass in northwest Iraq and eastern Syria. Since the removal of U.S troops from Iraq in 2011, tensions have escalated between the government and radical groups such as ISIS. ISIS has slowly been conquering land in Iraq. They are well trained and organized soldiers that have an effective use of propaganda. They completely instill themselves into communities, gaining trust and creating order. They conquer through promise of goodwill and freedom (Jawad al-Tamimi, 5). In August, President Obama issued aid to Iraqi citizens in the form of airdrops including food, water, supplies, etc. However, the aid from the United States quickly turned violent as they began implementing airstrikes on ISIS, keeping them from further advancing into Iraq. In order to send America a message, ISIS has released two videos beheading two Americans, James Foley and Steven Sotloff. These seemed to fuel Obama’s anger towards the radical group. More airstrikes have been deemed unproductive and ineffective, as fighter jets cannot destroy all individual ground soldiers (Letsch, 1). This is leading to western nations considering more drastic invasion tactics. There has been great criticism surrounding Obama issuing airstrikes as it is deemed an act of war, requiring congressional approval, which he did not receive.
Besides the beheading of two American citizens, ISIS proposes no extreme threat to Americans. This raises the question why should we care about a small, unrecognized state that only has intentions of conquering land in the Middle East? We may not need to worry about ISIS, but more about the West’s reaction to it. The Islamic State has appeared on every newspaper front page and magazine cover over the past few months. Attention from The United States and United Kingdom has given this group legitimacy. The airstrikes have actually killed more civilians than insurgents and is only strengthening the propaganda for ISIS to grow and become more powerful (Khatib, 2). The more tools ISIS has to work with the more than can win the “hearts and minds” of the public (Jawad al-Tamimi, 7). Since most western countries may be hesitant to put boots on the ground in the Islamic State, “the most the airstrikes can achieve is the containment of ISIS through limiting its ability to expand geographically, but not politically” (Khatib, 3). ISIS has since detached itself from al-Qaeda and has even begun fighting al-Qaeda partners in the Syrian civil war. If the United States carries out attacks on ISIS, it could be fueling Bashar al-Assad war efforts in Syria. The United States would be shooting itself in it’s own foot. With much American hatred already condensed in the Middle East, these actions will send jihads across the world into a rage and “many Sunnis will become enemies of America” (Feldenkirchen, 3). If the issue continues to escalate it is only a matter of time before the airstrikes are called off and either troops are put on the ground or all aid will be removed. If all aid is removed we lose ties with oil and any political stability in the Middle East. If we place troops on the ground we are only furthering our image as the world enforcer, while endangering the lives of our innocent civilians. While countries such as Australia, France, and the United Kingdom are supplying weapons, planes, and ammunition to help aid the airstrikes and locals, Germany has stayed rather quiet as a major world power. They have refused to allow any ISIS propaganda on their soil and have offered to help train local militants. Germany has supplied no weapons, no ammunition, only the training capacity of paratroopers to help the locals defend themselves. Recently, German newspaper Der Spiegel sat down for an interview with Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi politician, to...
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