46.1 F
New York
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Home History American History ISIS: How and Where they Came From

ISIS: How and Where they Came From

One major foreign policy issue facing the world over the past few years is the rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). ISIS is an anti-Western militant group whose goal is to establish an independent Islamic state. ISIS currently controls territory in both Iraq and Syria and is seeking to gain more territory throughout the Middle East. In the aftermath of the Iraq war, ISIS has taken advantage of regional instability and publically promoted itself online with graphic videos of threats and violence. The rise and spread of ISIS has further confounded policymakers with regards to their promoting stability in the Middle East. In recent years, there has been much debate at the highest levels of government over ways to combat ISIS and the reasons behind its creation and expansion. As with many other foreign policy issues, the debate over ways to fight ISIS has evoked debate on both sides, with some arguing for a more forceful response and others seeking to stay out of the conflict. The underlying reasons behind the rise of ISIS can be contributed to a number of factors such as the current instability in the Middle East, cultural and religious differences, and intervention in the region by western powers such as the U.S.

The formation of ISIS can be traced back to 2004, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in response to the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein from power in 2003. AQI played a major role in the Iraqi insurgency that followed. They reacted to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq with a variety of violent acts that resulted in the deaths of civilians and U.S. soldiers alike. Despite the fact that AQI was weakened after the death of al-Zarqawi in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, the organization survived and a faction of AQI separated and began to rebrand itself. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over as head of this organization in 2010, changed its name to the Islamic State (IS) in 2011, and the group grew more violent as U.S. forces began to withdraw from Iraq.

As the U.S. further withdrew troops from Iraq in 2011, IS began to expand its efforts into Syria to fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, IS established the Al-Nusra Front, a satellite organization of IS headed by Abu Muhammad al-Julani, establishing a base for IS outside of Iraq. The expansion of efforts into Syria gave IS an opportunity to expand its ideology into a newer territory. In an attempt to prevent a rift between both organizations, al-Baghdadi unified Al-Nusra Front and IS in 2013. The name of the organization was then changed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). However, al-Julani refused to align his group to al-Baghdadi and switched his allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. As a result of the rivalry between the two groups, Al-Zawahiri announced the unification (between ANF and IS) had been annulled as of June 2014. On January 3, 2014, al-Zawahiri announced he had severed all connections with ISIS. As a result, the disputes between ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front worsened, leading to violent clashes between both groups and further adding to instability in the two countries. As of today ISIS, Al-Nusra Front, and Al-Qaeda all operate in the region.

One of the major underlying reasons behind ISIS’ rise is the instability of the Middle East. Historically, preexisting disputes in the region have been cultural and religious in nature and have only worsened with the addition of western intervention over the past century. One of the main religious disputes has been between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam. This dispute causes tension and a desire for dominance in the region between countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two largest and most stable powers in the region. Saudi Arabia is predominantly Sunni, whereas Iran is primarily Shia. Interestingly enough, Iraq and Afghanistan, two unstable countries, have sizable populations of both Sunni and Shia Muslims. Furthermore, the recent escalation of the Arab-Israeli conflict and debate over nuclear proliferation has stirred tension. In addition, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has destabilized the country and made it a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

Another reason for ISIS’ creation is the Middle Eastern backlash against western intervention and foreign policy. After the discovery of oil reserves in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s, numerous western powers sought to gain a foothold in the region in order to meet their need for resources. With the increasing demand for oil, the U.S. began to assert its influence by supporting western-backed dictators in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. In addition, the U.S. has intervened on numerous occasions in order to keep these leaders in power in order to preserve its own interests, such as supporting regime change and military action against leaders who reject U.S. goals and interests U.S. policy of intervention in the Middle East is manifested in the Carter Doctrine, which was laid forward by President Jimmy Carter in his 1980 State of the Union Address. The Carter Doctrine stated that the U.S. had the right to intervene in order to defend its interests in the Middle East, in particular, to ensure the access to oil. As a result of the Carter Doctrine, the Middle East became a focal point of U.S. foreign policy, resulting in increased anti-American sentiment throughout the region.

The most notable example of the U.S. intervening in the Middle East occurred in Iran in 1953 through Operation Ajax. Operation Ajax was the CIA/Mossad backed a coup that removed Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, giving more power to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled Iran as an absolute monarch for the next 26 years, executing an estimated 160,000 political opponents, using secret police forces such as SAVAK to torture and intimidate regime opponents such as leftists and Islamists, and allowing little dissent against his rule. One of the major reasons behind the US/Israeli-backed coup was that Mossadegh sought to nationalize Iran’s oil production and use the profits to improve the lives of ordinary Iranians. This commandeering of its oil reserves did not align with U.S. interests. Operation Ajax is considered to be an important factor behind the 1979 Iranian Revolution and another reason Iran and the U.S. have a strained relationship today. This reaction to U.S. intervention resulted in heightened instability in the country, which allowed for the current Islamic Republic of Iran to take control. Similarly, the volatility derived from U.S. actions in Iraq and the Syrian Civil war has now promoted the recent rise of the similarly-titled “Islamic State” of Iraq and Syria.

The main ideology of ISIS is based off Wahhabism, a form of Sunni Islam that follows a strict interpretation of the Quran and promotes violence against non-believers. ISIS’ primary goal is to establish an independent Islamic State in the Middle East and expand its influence into other parts of the world. In order to achieve these goals, ISIS uses several brutal methods, such as mass killings, beheadings and systematic cruelty against those who would challenge their actions, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In addition, ISIS promotes its goals through videos and social media sources, by which the group seeks to gain more recruits. ISIS justifies its actions through religion, as members feel that they have a moral obligation to kill whoever stands in the way of their establishing an independent Islamic State.

ISIS has received funding from a variety of different sources. The main source is from oil smuggling on the Turkish border, through which ISIS sells oil from Syrian oil fields that it controls for as little as $25 per barrel. Another source of funding for ISIS comes from wealthy individuals in Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. These donors have long served as sources of funding for ISIS as well as for other violent anti-Western militia groups in the Middle East. Between all of those sources, U.S. officials estimate that ISIS is bringing in close to $1 Million per day in order to fund its operations.

ISIS also relies on foreign fighters from a number of countries. Some 20,000 foreign nationals are currently fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, with roughly 3,400 from Western countries. In addition, an increasing number of U.S. citizens are seeking to join ISIS. According to Congressman Michael McCaul of the House Homeland Security Committee, the number of U.S. citizens seeking to join ISIS this year is 150, up from only 50 last year. McCaul also stated that 18 Americans have already succeeded in joining ISIS and 18 others who have joined the similar Islamic terrorist groups. One of the members included is Douglas McAuthur McCain, a Californian who was killed in August while fighting alongside ISIS in Syria.

There are several possible ways in which the international community can defeat ISIS and restore a sense of stability to the Middle East. At this point, a ground invasion of Syria and Iraq by US troops would only make matters worse because it would result in another major war in the Middle East and directly play into the goal that ISIS has of drawing Western powers into the conflict. One such option to fight ISIS would be for the core countries such as the US to change their economic policy towards the Middle East. If the Middle Eastern Countries become economically interdependent on the United States and each other, the beginning of trade would bring an end to the fighting, leading to increased stability. Stability in the region would help to defeat ISIS because ISIS needs the instability of the region to survive. Furthermore, another thing that would go a long way to help encourage more stability in the Middle East would be for the US and other Western powers to acknowledge their past instances of intervention in the Middle East. Doing so would increase the level of trust between them and the governments of many countries in the region and make them more willing to work to defeat extremism and terrorism. Additional options to fight ISIS include working with local governments in the Middle East in order to identify threats, identify funding for ISIS and similar groups and work to increase public understanding with regards to the reasons why ISIS was created and its stated goals and ideology.

Works Cited:

Cambanis, Thanassis. “The Carter Doctrine: A Middle East Strategy past Its Prime.” Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners LLC. 14 Oct. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Dassanayake, Dion. “Islamic State: What Is IS and Why Are They so Violent?” Express. Northern and Shell Media Publications, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

Dehghan, Saeed Kamali, and Richard Norton-Taylor. “CIA Admits Role in 1953 Iranian Coup.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

Dilanian, Ken. “US Intel: IS Militants Drawing Steady Stream of Recruits.” AP News. Associated Press, 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 02 May 2015.

Ghitis, Frida. “Why ISIS Is so Brutal.” CNN. Cable News Network, 3 Feb. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

“ISIS: Portrait of a Jihadi Terrorist Organization.” The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 02 May 2015.

Reynolds, Ben. “Iran Didn’t Create ISIS; We Did.” The Diplomat. The Diplomat, 31 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

Windrem, Robert. “Who’s Funding ISIS? Wealthy Gulf ‘Angel Investors,’ Officials Say.” NBC News. NBC News, 21 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Matthew Rosehttp://ourpolitics.net
Matt studies and analyzes politics at all levels. He is the creator of OurPolitics.net, a scholarly resource exploring political trends, political theory, political economy, philosophy, and more. He hopes that his articles can encourage more people to gain knowledge about politics and understand the impact that public policy decisions have on their lives. Matt is also involved in the preservation of recorded sound through IASA International Bibliography of Discographies, and is an avid record collector.


  1. You made some clear points there. I looked on the internet for the subject matter and found that most experts in the field of political science will agree with your views/website!

  2. I just added a brand new list. I hope y’all are having a great week. I’m trying new methods to find more links. Check out my site to see the results.

  3. I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your posts to be just what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write. Again, awesome site!

  4. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  5. “Best Blogpost! Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out_ and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?”

  6. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me
    an email.

  7. Hello it’s me, I visit this site regularly, this web page is genuinely fascinating and the users are in fact sharing great thoughts.

  8. Your style is soo unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess
    I’ll just bookmark this web site.

  9. Hello there friend! Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing an issue with ur rss feed. Don?t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx Again thanks a lot for this!

  10. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did, however, expertise a few technical points using this website since I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway, I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again soon…

  11. Thank you for sharing excellent pieces of information. Your website is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

  12. There are some interesting points in time on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There’s some validity however I will take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article, thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  13. Admiring the hard work you put into your site and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Wonderful read!I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  14. I feel that is among the such a lot significant information for me. And I’m satisfied studying your article. But should remark on few basic things,The site style is perfect, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Good job, cheers

  15. You have mentioned very interesting details! ps decent web site. “Sutton lost 13 games in a row without winning a ballgame.” by Ralph Kiner.

  16. Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought, I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and certainly not appear to get something done.

  17. I’m also commenting to let you be aware of of the incredible discovery my wife’s girl went through reading your webblog. She came to find a lot of pieces, which included what it’s like to possess a great giving mindset to get many others really easily fully grasp a number of advanced topics. You truly exceeded readers’ desires. Many thanks for delivering these warm and helpful, trustworthy, informative not to mention easy thoughts on your topic to Sandra.

  18. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. Cheers

  19. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.Thanks for sharing!

  20. Hello! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas! Just wanted to tell you to keep up the great work!

  21. I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it, my friend, ?

  22. I think other site proprietors should take this web site as a model, very clean and excellent user-friendly style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  23. Thanks for another informative web site. Where else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such information.

  24. Great blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  25. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web ste and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently

  26. وظيفة مذهلة! نأمل أن تتمكن المملكة العربية السعودية وإسرائيل والولايات المتحدة من توجيه ضربة حاسمة إلى الحكومة الإيرانية وتثبيت رضا بهلوي العظيم في السلطة بعد هزيمة داعش ،

  27. I like your website however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with appalling spelling problems that I find very troublesome however I’ll surely come again to read more posts of yours.

  28. Heya, this is kind of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon (called video games vs real life :)) but have no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  29. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is really frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  30. Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a marvelous job!

  31. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (WordPress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  32. This is veryreally interesting, You areYou’re a very skilled blogger. I haveI’ve joined your feedrss feed and look forward to seeking more of your greatwonderfulfantasticmagnificentexcellent post. Also, I haveI’ve shared your siteweb sitewebsite in my social networks!

  33. I am only commenting to let you understand of the great experience our daughter experienced browsing your web blog. She picked up a lot of pieces, not to mention what it is like to have an awesome helping nature to have other individuals effortlessly comprehend certain specialized topics. You undoubtedly surpassed people’s expectations. Many thanks for coming up with those effective, healthy, revealing and cool tips on the topic to Kate.

  34. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out, therefore, it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  35. Thank you for your entire hard work on this web page. My mother takes interest in participating in investigations and it’s obvious why. All of us know all relating to the dynamic means you produce great secrets by means of the web site and in addition inspire response from the others on this topic plus our favorite girl has always been studying so much. Have fun with the rest of the year. You are conducting a wonderful job.

  36. I’d need to test with you here. Which is not one thing I normally do! I get pleasure from studying a put up that may make people think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to remark!

  37. Some really excellent content on this site, thanks for contribution. “A liar should have a good memory.” by Quintilian.

  38. I like the valuable info you supply on your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and test again right here regularly.
    I’m slightly sure I will be told lots of new stuff proper here!
    Best of luck for the following!

  39. This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  40. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  41. I have read several excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking
    for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you
    place to create one of these excellent informative website.

  42. I do trust all the ideas you have introduced for your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for newbies. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  43. Ultimately, I have actually found somebody that put effort into researching this topic. I have been searching for this sort of details for some time now as well as no person has actually described it quite so well. Your internet site is amazing. I will be sharing with others who are additionally interested in this subject.

  44. I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  45. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  46. I liked as much as you’ll obtain performed proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. however, you command get bought an shakiness over that you want be handing over the following. sick no doubt come further before again as precisely the similar nearly a lot frequently within case you defend this hike.

  47. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your website on my iPhone 3G during lunch break. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!|

  48. Nice article. It does shed some light on the issue. For those interested in binary options can get an exclusive binary options bonus.

  49. I seriously love your website… Pleasant colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal site and want to find out where you got this from or what the theme is called. Kudos!|

  50. Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout-out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  51. I want to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

OurWeek In Politics (January 3, 2024-January 10, 2024)

Happy 2024! Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week: 1. President Biden Condemns Trump as...

President Biden Condemns Trump as Dire Threat to Democracy in a Blistering Speech

President Joe Biden on January 5 delivered a ferocious condemnation of former President Donald Trump, his likely 2024 opponent, warning in searing...

Biden Administration Sues Texas Over State’s Controversial Immigration Law

The Biden administration on January 3 filed a lawsuit against Texas over its controversial immigration law that gives local law enforcement in...

Former President Donald Trump Appeals Colorado ‘Insurrection Clause’ Ruling to Supreme Court

Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on January 3 to allow him to stay on the presidential primary ballot in...

Recent Comments

© Matt Rose and Ourpolitics.Net, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matt Rose or Respective Authors and Ourpolitics.net with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.