On August 19, 2014, an online news network called Abu Dhabi Media released an editorial piece. It made the claim that it will require a multi-faceted approach to defeat the Islamic state. The author said that using military might, and going after their sources of funds, are unsustainable strategies, especially if these are used in isolation (The National, 2014). The author proposed that all conventional anti-terror schemes must be utilized, but there is need to create a multi-faceted solutions package to defeat terror groups like the ISIS. It is a practical recommendation, and it must be supported by the United Nations.
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At first glance, it seems that a military solution is the most practical approach, because it can provide immediate results. Destroying enemy forces, capturing key leaders of terror groups, and eliminating murderers hiding behind extremist ideologies are examples of military actions that provide instant gratification for victims of terror groups. Nevertheless, a military initiative is not a sustainable solution to the said problem.
Military intervention may weaken the operational capability of terror groups; nonetheless, it does not stop new recruits from joining groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS. It is also important to attack the group’s source of funds. These groups will have no access to military hardware and communication equipment, if sources of funds will dry up. Without stable sources of funds, terror groups are unable to stay undetected, because they can no longer pay for the cost of maintaining a network of safe houses. Nevertheless, the use of firepower and economic sanctions are not enough to completely destabilize terror groups. It is also important to look at the personal component of the Islamic state.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait participated in a UN Security Council resolution to cut-off financing for ISIS. However, these two countries went further by identifying supporters of terror groups. Thus, aside from the use of military forces, and economic sanctions, members of the United Nations must work together to develop a more effective, and comprehensive intelligence gathering protocol.
ISIS and other like-minded terrorist groups are founded on the tenets of radical ideology. Therefore, it is also imperative to slow down the group’s progress in the context of radical ideology. Members of the United Nations must commit to helping poor and underdeveloped communities. It is in poverty-stricken communities where terror groups are successful in recruiting new volunteers. Poor children and frustrated adults are more susceptible to the false ideas perpetuated by terror groups. Thus, citizens of rich countries must learn how to efficiently channel resources to poor communities that are known breeding ground for terrorists.
It is time to realize that conventional strategies in fighting terror groups are not sustainable in the long run. The use of military forces and economic sanctions can temporarily cripple terror groups. However, the fundamental issue is not only to prevent the next terror attack; it is also to limit the group’s capacity to attract new recruits, and increase their operational capability. Thus, aside from the use of military force and cutting-off financing, members of the United Nations must look at the personal component of terror groups. It is also imperative to introduce intervention strategies that will send volunteers into poor communities. Volunteers will provide economic aid. They will also educate people, and provide a counter-argument to the ideas planted by terror groups. It is only through a multi-faceted approach that one can be assured of victory against the Islamic State.
The National. (2014). There is no single way to combat the Islamic State. Abu Dhabi Media. Web.