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Should the Paris Attacks Summon a Western Invasion to Crush ISIS?

GUEST EDITORIAL – OP/ED

 

Should last month’s Paris attacks summon a Western invasion to crush the Islamic State?

Dustin Berna - sm

Dustin Berna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Unfortunately, yes.

The goal of the Islamic State is to establish a global caliphate (religious state) with its capital being in Jerusalem and satellite offices in Washington, Rome, Tehran and Paris. The Islamic State sees itself as the reincarnation of Muhammad and his caliphate; however, its objective is to ultimately surpass what Muhammad and his first generation of followers did and obtain world domination. To do this, it is the Islamic State’s religious obligation to work toward our eradication.

A global caliphate will not happen; however, a regional one has happened, and if individuals and movements keep pledging allegiance to them, it will continue to spread throughout the Sunni world. The Islamic State has a global network of supporters that see it as their religious duty to conduct acts of suicidal terrorism on American soil, and this threatens the foundations of our free and open society. The only way this network can be defeated is the total obliteration of the Islamic State and to utilize any domest

ic tool we have to detain its supporters who are living among us. The Paris attacks were a dress rehearsal for what the terrorists are capable of doing. Many Western politicians argue we are at war — yet their strategy to defeat the Islamic State is inherently flawed.

Currently, our airstrikes are destroying the weapons and military stockpiles controlled by the Islamic State. However, the collateral destruction and civilian deaths are facilitating more support for the Islamic State. The oil-resources and antiquities sales have made the Islamic State wealthier than any terrorist organization in history. Increased military support to the Kurds is essential; however, they can’t defeat the Islamic State alone. The Sunnis support the Islamic State in massive numbers and no Muslim state is willing to send troops into a war zone and risk its own security. The point of demarcation between moderate Sunnis and the Islamic State sympathizers is impossible to distinguish unless we’re on the ground. The moderates have no place to turn — on one side is the Islamic State, and on the other are repressive Shia governments — so they flee and become refugees.

I am not a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin or his aggressive foreign policy; however, we must revaluate what he is doing as it relates to Syria. The Syrian government has absolute support from the Syrian Shia and Christian populations, and they will do whatever they can to protect the Assad regime. As for the Syrian Sunni opposition, we are foolishly viewing the Sunnis as our friends and have sent them tons of financial and military aid.

They have not pledged allegiance to the Islamic State caliphate; however, they have refused to fight it. ISIS has the military power to invade the areas controlled by the Syrian Sunni opposition, but has refused to do so because the Sunnis are the ones who are fighting the Syrian government. Because of this, the Islamic State has been able to continue to expand its caliphate into Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan. The Russians understand this, and their military campaign against the Syrian opposition does help Assad and significantly hinders ISIS expansion. Americans will die if we do not develop a more drastic military policy to obliterate the Islamic State.

We must end the weakness associated with the current administration’s foreign policy and overcome the haphazard ideas of democracy and occupation that still plague us from the previous administration. To do this, NATO — with Russian support — must invade and eradicate the Islamic State.

 

Dustin Berna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Nova Southeastern University

 

Nova Southeastern University fully supports an individual’s right to express their viewpoint and opinions. The views expressed in this guest editorial are that of Dustin Berna, Ph.D. in Nova Southeastern University’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and are not necessarily those of NSU, its President or Board of Trustees.

 

About the Author: Dustin Berna, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Conflict Resolution and Political Science at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. He is also the Director of Assessment and Planning for the college. 

Berna’s research specializations include Middle Eastern politics, Islamic fundamentalism, religious extremism, social movements, terrorism, and political institutions. He has taught classes on the Iraq War, Islamic politics, Middle Eastern politics, terrorism, political violence, international relations, U.S. foreign policy, the politics of developing states, revolutions, international negotiation and violence prevention. Berna has written numerous articles on topics that range from terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism to Iranian political institutions and Islamic democracy. Berna has experience working with print and broadcast media.

Berna earned his doctorate from the University of New Orleans in 2008. His two major fields of study were Middle Eastern politics and international relations. American political institutions were third and minor field. His dissertation was a quantitative study that evaluated the causes and electoral success of Islamic fundamentalist movements. Berna has collected and coded every Islamic fundamentalist group that is, or has been, in operation in the Islamic world since 1970.