What Should the US Do About ISIS?

Eric Hsieh, Staff Writer

Amid the recent Paris attacks, the United States struggles to find solvency against a growing terrorist threat.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant rose to power during the chaos caused by the Syrian Civil War. In 2014, ISIS took key cities such as Raqqa, Mosul, and Tikrit. In addition, they declared the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in which their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is seen as the successor to the Prophet Mohammad.

ISIS currently terrorizes millions with their brutal killings of countless Christians and Muslims. Recently, they claim to have bombed a Russian plane, and they helped orchestrate the barbaric attack in Paris. While there is no easy option for Obama right now, more action must be taken.

Currently, Obama has had somewhat of a dual objective in Syria. Obama strongly opposes President Assad, but wants to combat ISIS. On the other hand, Russia wants to fight ISIS while supporting Assad. One option is that the United States aligns with Russia and shifts support to the Assad regime. The combined forces of U.S. and Russian airstrikes and Assad’s soldiers would crush ISIS. However, this option would alienate many Sunni nations and the Kurds in the process.

Another option is that the U.S. aligns with Russia but uses diplomatic channels to convince Russia to give up Assad as an ally. If Russia denounces Assad, it would cause Sunni nations such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey to be more active in the fight against ISIS.

Even though both options certainly have their downsides, one thing is blatantly clear–the U.S. must do more than it is doing now to combat ISIS and stabilize Syria.