All eyes are on the Islamic State

President Obama recently authorized
airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria. So what
does one more round of bombing actually
mean to us? Not much in the here
and now. Except ISIS is… different.
Okay, they aren’t different, they’re
crazy. A splinter group of Al Qaeda’s
Iraqi branch, they severed all ties when
AQI heads deemed them too brutal.
From whippings, public beheadings,
and even crucifixion, there’s no denying
the evil of ISIS.
But a notorious habit of not playing
well with others isn’t what sets ISIS
apart. This June their leader, Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi, declared a new Sunni
caliphate. The caliphates of old controlled
all of North Africa, the Middle
East, Spain, and South Eastern Europe.
And ISIS is ready to resurrect this ancient
empire. Even more alarming
than their goal to spread their extremism
though, is how efficiently they are
doing so.
In the past few months the group
that identifies as the Islamic State has
come to control what some estimate to
be nearly 30,000 square miles of territory.
While not as alarming as Hitler’s
Blitzkrieg tactics, this is still formidable
when considering the scant resources
they have at their disposal.
“If neglected, I am certain that after
a month they will reach Europe,” Saudi
King Abdulla said. While possibly
an overstatement, ISIS definitely has
the momentum to make a push into
NATO member Turkey.
Because of NATO policy of considering
an attack of an ally an attack
on all members, the US will be forced
to consider a stronger force to combat
this growing threat. But where will the
foot really come down? The Balkans.
Most HHS students are too young to
remember US involvement in Bosnia
where so called “ethnic cleansing” was
carried out by Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian
Muslims, and Bosnian Croats alike.
With a history for violent conflict,
the Balkans, the breeding ground of
world wars, and Europe’s most volatile
region, is likely where American
involvement will escalate into full war
once again.
Another power player close to the
Balkan region is the US’s long-time rival,
Russia. Though ISIS hasn’t made
any friends in Northern Asia either, a
power play for control from both Russia
and America is definitely possible.
Even though many people don’t
think about it anymore, nearly 60,000
American troops deployed to Bosnia in
the early 1990’s. Another Balkan conflict
would likely see similar numbers
of soldiers leaving home to fight in a
foreign war.
Without a doubt, almost every student
and teacher knows a member of
the US armed services. In such a conservative
area of the country, where
military support is high, it is hard to
imagine a citizen of Hanover County
that won’t see the effects of yet another
ethnic conflict.
4/4 Managing Staff Agree

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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