The forces fighting under the banner of the terrorist army of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have swept across central Iraq and are only now facing any real opposition. This lack of resistance has emboldened ISIS as well as having provided them with advanced weapons systems which were abandoned by the Iraqi Army as they retreated, refusing to even engage the oncoming terrorist army. Only now has the Iraqi Army properly prepared to face the onrushing hordes by holding their ground around Baghdad. Much of the Western World has focused upon Baghdad with low expectations and have set attacking Jordan as their line in the sand. Former Israeli National Security Council director Yaakov Amidror commented on the situation Sunday expressing that, “It’s not just in Jordan’s interest, but in Israel’s as well, to work together to solve this problem.” The comments came amidst reports of Jordan deploying massive army forces on its Iraqi border Friday, including tanks, army vehicles, missile launchers and soldiers, citing the Arab news source Asharq Al-Aswat. Jordanian concerns are validated by calls from amongst the advancing ISIS forces for Jordanian King Abdullah’s execution.
Further aggravation has been caused by the ISIS leadership declaring themselves as a new Islamic Caliphate and defining the lands that they have taken by force as being a new Islamic State. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was given the title of Caliph which permits him to take whatever he desires and to do so by force if that is what is required. ISIS is also now declaring that they should now be referred to as simply the Islamic State and give them the deference usually reserved for recognized and established nations. Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani released a statement to the press where he claimed, referring to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being given the title of Caliph and the establishing ISIS as the Islamic State, “He is the Imam and Khalifah for the Muslims everywhere. It is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to and support him. The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the Khalifah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.” I guess that all has been said and done and we can expect any moment now for the Family Saud, the Emirs of Kuwait and the Emirates, President el-Sisi in Egypt, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey and every other Sunni national leader to surrender their nations and pledge their troops to the new Islamic State and the great Khalifah Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Well, I guess this takes care of Jordan as obviously Jordanian King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein will order his armies which are currently deployed in force and on high alert to stand down and take whatever is required of them by the new Khalifah al-Baghdadi including executing the King for his crimes against Islam which Khalifah al-Baghdadi has ordered. Well, then again, maybe not; and the same likely goes for Egyptian President Sisi, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, the Family Saud and any of the other “righteous leaderships” that currently rule by the will of Allah and their having most of the guns throughout the Sunni Muslim World, and we have yet to address the Shiite Islamic world which Khalifah al-Baghdadi has declared all Shiite Muslims to be heretics deserving of death.
So, what can we make of all this fury and bluster? Giving it some thought, we can likely conclude that ISIS has stretched their lines close to their limits without an new influx of fighters, and even more importantly, supply and logistics personnel which are more difficult to find as such positions are not the positions desired by the glory and martyrdom seekers and require intelligence and education if they are to be useful and as well organized as required. No army has ever run on all soldiers on the lines fighting and nobody bringing them supplies, food and all the other requirements for battle and survival. The age of plunder as you go is over and the only soldiers still employing such tactics are small specialized forces who are executing specific missions and targets and are not as concerned with taking and holding land. ISIS has declared their intent to transform the lands they have conquered into a state, even if it is a nonfunctional state for now, and that requires holding and defending the lands you possess and still providing for the troops to continue onward in your lust for complete power. Does this mean that ISIS is done and not going to proceed further? No, they will still likely be capable of launching attacks on the southern extremes of Iraq which they must take if only for the oil fields and a port to the open seas in order to trade that oil taking in monies they can then utilize for further conquest. They might even attempt to take on the Jordanian army. It would serve Jordan to announce if they have any assurances or agreements with Israel for their mutual defense before ISIS crosses their border and hostilities start. Warfare is easier to force your enemy to reconsider attacking you than it is to force them to end such an assault and disengage from the conflict on your front.
Are there any other options for ISIS if they should prove capable of capturing the southern parts of Iraq? There are basically three options, after they solidify their conquest of Iraq and have dealt with the fairly significant numbers of Shiites, they will have remaining on the lands they would then control. Demanding mass conversions to Sunni Islam would be attempted but if there are those who are respected within the Shiite community who refuse, that could result in a large segment also refusing to swear their allegiance to Sunni Islam and to follow Khalifah al-Baghdadi. Providing that either ISIS risked raising the general levels of ire towards them by murdering en-mass the Shiite population of Iraq, the option for what next would be completely taken care of by Iran who would necessarily declare Jihad against ISIS declaring them apostates, idolaters or heretics and another Iraq-Iran War would ensue and would be to the death. In such a scenario the only hope ISIS would have is if the rest of the Sunni Islamic world would answer their calls for unity against the Shiites and a final last war between these two largest branches of Islam. Should ISIS find another route whereby the Shiite population they would have conquered is not forced necessarily to convert and are not murdered en-mass, then they would face choices. Attacking Jordan runs the risk of also engaging Israel and possibly others from the Western nations though it would be very unlikely that the United States would do anything beyond perhaps some attempts to target leaders of ISIS for drone strikes, killing the head of the snake, so to speak. The other choices would be to strike either Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. These two options basically end with the same results, starting the general war between the Family Saud and the leadership of ISIS for control of the Sunni Islamic world. The Saudis would have the deeper pockets and would have the assistance of Western nations who would only likely demand a lower price on oil for some period which would help to stimulate their sluggish economies to climb out from the recession much more quickly and with less pain and austerity. At this point ISIS has the choice of which bad idea will they pursue. There still remains the final option, do nothing and consolidate their gains for the time being. Then once they have established this new Islamic State and gained recognition, and why should they not expect recognition as they are no worse a terrorist group than is Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas or Fatah and the Western nations have demanded Israel negotiate with or otherwise deal with those terror groups and give them a state of their own, why would ISIS be any different other than they are not attacking Israel yet. So, depending on the next move taken by ISIS, I’m sorry, the “Islamic State”, that will determine whether we are about to enter into a general Middle East War or continue with ever increasing terrorist strikes the world over and the first step to redrawing the Arab and Muslim world to represent reality and the tribal, clannish and sectarian differences establishing new nations which represent a pure citizenship with little or no multicultural citizenry such as was forced upon the Middle East after World War I by the Sykes–Picot Agreement which spawned much of the turmoil in the region ever since the imaginary and arbitrary lines were drawn seemingly free of any considerations or thought and completely at random as if by a child scrawling with multicolored crayons on the map of the Middle East.