The brutal murder of the brave American journalist James Foley is meant to directly terrorize the world’s media, the international community, and the United States. If all the actions of the Islamic State, or IS, to date weren’t sufficiently reprehensible, this act and the potential for other similar acts will snap American attention with laser-like focus onto the real danger IS poses to the existence of Iraq, the order of the region and to the homelands of Europe and America.
Make no mistake, the abomination of IS is a clear and present danger to the U.S.The only question really is whether the U.S. and its allies and partners will act decisively now while they can still shape events to destroy IS, an act that seems increasingly self-obvious.
IS is a well-organized entity, almost certainly supported by former Saddamist regime elements whose hand can be seen in the campaign design now unfolding. This group is not a flash in the pan that will go away of its own accord or if we don’t poke at it. It is not benign. IS is reinforced by Sunni tribal elements from Syria and Iraq, and most alarmingly, is aided by a witch’s brew of foreign fighters from Chechens to Uighurs to Pashtuns, but also including Europeans and Americans. The Caliphate’s Western recruits will be felt in the European and American homelands for years to come regardless of the fate IS and its cause.