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some additional considerations

Reader comment on item: ISIS' Imminent Demise

Submitted by Arthur Pitz, Ph.D. (United States), Dec 8, 2015 at 12:58

I'd add that in their vision of a caliphate, it must continue to expand to be able to justify its existence. Contain them and continue to chip away at them undercuts that justification. And, that will, along with the other factors as you note, may well bring on their demise.

A danger of sending our combat troops or others from the west is that may fit their apocalyptic notions of a grand showdown. It appears they believe that we're in, to use a Christian term, the last days counting down to their version of a final battle between the West and its surrogates (mainly non real Muslims in their view) and the true Islam (ISIS). They would use those troops as a propaganda tool to attract every jihadist that shares any part of that vision. They would claim they're defending Islam from the infidels.

A further risk might well come when ISIS implodes, then what? Who owns that territory? What about Assad and/or his regime? The Kurds? Shia Iraq? Erdogan's Turkey? Complications will almost certainly arise quickly.

It is one thing to have almost all agree on taking out ISIS, but once that is done, the common interest holding that coalition together would no longer exist. One possible outcome might be a showdown between those propping up Assad's regime and those who want that regime gone. The first group includes Russia; not just Iran and its minions (Hezbollah, etc.).

Art

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