The Loose Coalition To Defeat The Islamic State

Over the past several months The Islamic State (IS), a terrorist organization that claims sovereignty as a caliphate over most of the middle east, has gained control over vast amounts of territory in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq. The groups rapid advance as well as their brutal tactics has led to the formation of a U.S. led coalition to destroy the organization. Despite the large amount of countries that have pledged to aid this coalition many are hesitant to provide more than training, aid, and air support with no countries currently pledging ground troops leaving ground fighting to opposing rebel groups, the Iraqi and Syrian armies, and the Iraqi Kurds.

This coalition is a good way to look at the resolve of countries and why actions taken against different states will yield different results. As of september 17th, 11 countries have officially pledged some form of support while several others have been linked to possible aid by the state department. These different countries and the levels of support they are willing to pledge is indicative of the levels of resolve each of these countries have for conflict with The IS.

Turkey for example is a country that has alot to gain or lose depending on the stance they take. Turkey has been vying for acceptance into the EU for years and supporting a NATO effort could prove to be politically prudent move for them. At the same time turkey has been reluctant to make any official stance on The IS, including joining the coalition, in order to protect its 49 diplomats currently being held hostage by The IS.

Another country that has a special stake in defeating The IS is Australia. A terrorist plot orchestrated by The IS was recently thwarted in Sydney and Brisbane. Involving 800 Australian police, a cell was caught supposedly planning to publicly behead a randomly kidnapped Australian. The cell was believed to be radicalized in Syria and Iraq. This has prompted Australia to pledge one of the largest commitments other than the US, while still short of deploying ground troupes.

These are just some of the reasonings that these countries have to either enter or avoid conflict. There are also many others including economic, social, and political reasonings domestic, and international.


5 thoughts on “The Loose Coalition To Defeat The Islamic State

  1. So this could be why the U.S. is trying to fund rebels in that region? Is this a good idea? And if the U.S. goes to war, should there only be American troops deployed or do you think other nations should get involved, and is it the U.S.’s job to get involved so intensely to begin with?


  2. Hi Jesse,

    I think your blog post is really relative to what we have been discussing in class: specifically that it gives a variety of illustrations about state cooperation and resolve. I think you take a very realist approach in your analysis. For instance, your description of Turkey’s actions where it’s stuck in this cost benefit analysis when deciding which is the best stance to take in this scenario and will give it the best outcomes but also protect itself (as you discuss the hostage diplomats). I particularly enjoy your analytical case study on Turkey and find it very exciting to see what they do in the future. Nice post!


  3. Mako99…I think it is very important that the U.S. gets involved; I mean they already are. Anyways, like our classmate previously said, you do a nice job given the circumstances Turkey is in. Turkey has to measure their positives and negatives and see if cooperation is in their best interest.


  4. I found this post helpful that it gives broad information about current movements of which countries have agreed to defeat ISIS so far. Each state has its own traits regarding geography, historical backgrounds, and relations with other states, so every state must be very prudent to take everything into account whether to enter in a coalition.


  5. I’m very skeptical of the idea behind a coalition in the Middle East to fight ISIS because of the tremendous amount of political conflicts of interest in the region. For one, several US allies have been assisting ISIS for some time, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and Qatar. Turkey, a NATO ally, has been very withdrawn in assisting the Kurds because of its violent history with the PKK — it has also expressed concern for arming the YPG because of concerns the weapons may end up in the hands of PKK fighters. It’s a nice thought, and I sure don’t have a better solution, but I don’t think this international coalition has much hope.


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