Should We Declare War On ISIS?

The message on the flag reads, “There is no god but Allah. Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.”

By Jason Su ‘17

Since the Paris attacks and increasing deaths from terrorist attacks led by ISIS doesn’t seem to be enough to spur Congress to send ground troops and formally declare war on ISIS, let’s focus on that of France.

On November 13, Paris was attacked by ISIS terrorists, which killed 129 people with hundreds of more casualties in six major areas.  One such area was an explosion near the sports stadium, the Stade de France, where German and French soccer teams were facing off. Among those in the crowd was President Hollande of France, and the audience and players were hastily evacuated. Throughout the entire week, Paris became a state of confusion and disarray. The motive was clear: it was to spread fear and establish ISIS’ authority to the whole world.

In spite of all this, and the heighten awareness of ISIS, the only Western nation that actively participates in fighting ISIS is France. What they need isn’t superficial sympathy or messages of solidarity; France needs aid from not only the United States but also from other Western nations. How much can one do alone? Practically nothing. But if joined together, then ISIS would be nothing. Divide and conquer only works well if everyone is ambivalent.

In a New York Times article called France Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria in Retaliation for Attacks by Alissa J. Rubin and Anne Barnard, France has stepped up its game, increasing the intensity and frequency of its air strikes, especially after another militant attack killed another dozen people in Paris. And yet, conservatives and senior White house officials only call for a short term goal: supplying information to help French warplanes bomb ISIS targets. Only recently has Congress approved the plan to bomb specific targets in ISIS as per President Barrack Obama’s constant urging.

Benjamin J. Rhodes in the New York Times article Supporting France, Obama Loath to Add Troops to ISIS Fight by Michael D. Shear and Peter Baker said, “We don’t believe that U.S. troops are the answer to the problem.” Then what is the answer to the problem?

Many Americans and politicians, who don’t support sending ground troops to fight against ISIS, argue that they don’t want a repeat of the Iraq war and that they are protecting American lives. Others argue that instead of focusing on foreign affairs, the federal government should focus on domestic affairs, such as schooling. These people forget that terrorism is happening all around them, that at any moment a life can be lost from terrorism. It could be yours.

America can’t be like this. America actively participates in foreign politics, interests, and conflicts. So the lingering question is, what is so different about this?

The truth is, if people and nations don’t unite, the problems only going to get worse and by doing nothing productive you’re only giving more time for terrorist attacks like 9/11 and the Paris attacks to happen again. Just this week, a young female named Tashfeen Malik and her husband killed 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, California after swearing allegiance to ISIS on its Facebook page.

Also, if ISIS and other militant groups get their hands on nuclear weapons, then what? Threaten them to stop or we’ll use nukes ourselves? I tell you, if we don’t stop them right now and correct what happened in 2014 when the U.S. had a chance of eliminating ISIS, then we’ll surely regret it. Ambivalence solves nothing; it only prolongs the problem.

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