Chances are, if you’ve been following the news recently, you’re under the impression that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) poses a direct and imminent threat to the United States, and you’re not alone.
A recent Washington Post poll showed that 90 percent of Americans view ISIS as a threat to American interests. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said that ISIS poses a threat “beyond anything we have ever seen.” This past Saturday, Fox News aired an hour special on ISIS that focused heavily on ISIS’s influence and recruitment of Americans. Yet the fear-mongering is unjustified.
ISIS is interested in expanding its power and influence around the Middle East with creating a caliphate as its main cause. It continues to push forward and overtake various cities in Iraq and Syria, imposing its radical Islamic law and acting as a pseudo government over the territory it’s captured: controlling schools, the courts and how merchants do business. For ISIS, the current goal is building, not destroying.
With ISIS’s desire to expand territory, the real nations threatened are those surrounding Iraq and Syria: Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. In an interview with CNN, a defected ISIS fighter said ISIS’s priority is to “encompass the Arab world. After that, we go to other countries.”
The Pentagon Press Secretary, John Kirby, said the notion of a major attack on U.S. soil is unwarranted, as ISIS does not have the capability to do so. The FBI and Department of Homeland security came out and said that there is “no specific or credible terror threats to the U.S. homeland.”
If there were to be an attack on American soil, it would be small in scale, and done by an individual or small group acting in the name of ISIS, rather than an ISIS-directed attack.
ISIS thrives off of displaying power and inciting hysteria. Its highly choreographed videos, such as the recent beheadings or mass murders, act as theatrics to prove how barbaric it can be. If it were to commit an act of terrorism against us, it would be meticulously pre- planned to guarantee an immense amount of casualties. Such a lofty goal would take resources and attention away from solidifying power, its foremost concern.
America isn’t on the radar right now. Still, there is good reason for a military campaign against ISIS. ISIS has already recruited an estimated 30,000 members, and as it expands in the region, that number has the potential to grow exponentially. Once ISIS cements itself as a legitimate caliphate in the Arab world, its sights will turn westward.
With air strikes abound, we will hopefully see a deterioration of its infrastructure, and as the various Arab nations continue to join our coalition, ISIS will become overwhelmed and defeated. It is not equipped enough to take on the amount of force being used against it, nor does it have the organization to devise an efficient defense strategy.
ISIS is not a threat to the United States. It lacks a significant amount of allies. The structure of the organization is not stable enough to bring the war to us, nor does it have cells within our country that can carry out an attack. The excessive coverage coming from the media isn’t meant to inform, but to gain ratings, as we’re a culture that becomes intoxicated by crisis. The government is merely doing whatever it can to gain support from war worn citizens. We’re buying it. But, with careful consideration, you can realize we’re fine.
Relax, take a deep breath and revel in the fact that you’re safe.