As many have expected, the situation in the Middle East has only gotten worse in the past few weeks. ISIS has turned itself simply into the Islamic State, and has declared a global caliphate. They have gained significant ground in Iraq and Syria, and have implemented Sharia Law in their captured territory along with increasing recruiting and training tactics. And that’s just the start of it all.
Despite all of the cries from the left during the Bush years that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq members of the Islamic State have managed to capture an old chemical weapons facility and find “unenriched” uranium in a University in Mosul. The government claims that these chemicals and the uranium are all unusable and unstable to move, but everyone knows that these terrorists will try anyway. It’s a nightmare that the intelligence community has tried to avoid for years, and now the Obama Administration seems unfazed.
Many experts say that the fighters of the Islamic State will make a push for Baghdad in an effort to establish a capital for their state. These same experts also believe that Baghdad is unlikely to fall throughout some heavy fighting, which will be brutal. So if fighting is to continue for quite some time in regions that these fighters are attempting to take over what should be done about the territory they have already taken? We know that they will train in these regions and recruit more fighters, so what should be done? No one seems to know, and that is part of the problem.
While the focus has turned on Iraq, the civil war in Syria continues. It’s appalling that just the other day the Obama Administration asked Congress to pass a bill giving aid to the “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels. It’s been proven in the past, in both Libya and Syria, the aid that has gone to “moderate opposition” has ended up in the hands of al Qaeda and fighters from the Islamic State. The Obama Administration is again going about this all wrong; we should not be sending any weapons or money over to fighters in the Middle East.
There is now also concern about some of the surrounding countries, including Jordan. Many of the refugees from Syria and Iraq have gone to Jordan, raising fears that some of the fighting may spread there (exposed borders? Haven’t heard of that before). If fighters from the Islamic State are able to start battles in other countries besides Iraq and Syria things will get even worse than before. They cannot be allowed to destabilize the region even more.
Unfortunately, those aren’t the only problems in the Middle East right now. Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Afghanistan attempting to help sort out alleged election fraud in Afghanistan. The United States cannot leave Afghanistan until a clear leader is in place with a plan to help the people of Afghanistan into the future. But who knows what it will take to sort out any sort of alleged election fraud in a nation like Afghanistan. The Afghani government hasn’t been supportive in the past, and they have little reason to be now. Overall, it’s just another headache for the United States.
The other major issue in the Middle East is the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel has been an ally of the United States for many years, one of our closest allies in fact. More importantly, they are our only actual ally in the Middle East region, and their security and stability is key to our foreign policy and national security interests. So with Hamas firing hundreds of missiles and rockets into Israel in an attempt to hit civilian targets, isn’t it obvious the United States would back Israel? Apparently not. During the years Barack Obama has been President, our relationship with Israel has been tested as our own leaders have shown distrust and disgust with our ally. Secretary Kerry once even went as far as to compare it to an “apartheid state.” Many on the left believe that Israel is the cause of much of what is going on in the Israel-Palestine area. However, this current conflict shows those beliefs are plain wrong.
It is important to note several factors in this situation; one is that Hamas launched the first rockets into the neighboring country of Israel in an attempt to hit civilian targets. Israel’s response is to bomb terror targets or locations where Hamas is storing these rockets. Another point is that Israel is contacting the civilians located in the areas where they will commence the bombing in order to have them evacuate the area, but Hamas is using the civilians has human shields. This is surely a stunt for Hamas to gain sympathy with the world, and unfortunately it’s working.
The chaos with Israel, who is already surrounded by enemies, is only contributing to the burning Middle East. The fighting doesn’t seem to ever stop, and likely won’t anytime soon. However, if there is something we can do to ease the tension in the Middle East it is to support our allies in the region and don’t arm our enemies. We should support Israel and put pressure on the Iraqi government to deal with the Islamic State and the fighters they have in the region. We should also put pressure on other nations in the region like Jordan and Saudi Arabia to ensure their nations are secure from these fighters and that they know who the enemy is. However, if we sit idly by or back the wrong sides as we have been, the situations will only get worse. And yes, unfortunately it is situations, multiple all across the region.