The conventional thoughts which come to mind when one starts to comment on the rise of IS is how could this organisation reach the level of power and control over areas it has if it were not backed by a superpower such as America and how come they become a prominent organisation over the past three years and achieved the power and control it currently enjoys without some kind of foreign external support.
This dilemma is further strengthened by the fact that if US actually intended to eliminate IS it would have sent troops to attack it and maybe it was using IS for ulterior motive and fight IS half heartedly and if we supplement this thought by dropping the argument that IS is not created by an outside force and argue that it is a self creation then how can we explain its quick growth and the spread of its control as well as the support it receives in form or another from many countries.
Let’s address this dilemma
Anyone looking closely into how IS achieved control over Mosul and other areas in Iraq must factor in the collapse of Iraqi Army and its withdrawl without a fight. The answer here stems from the weakness of the Iraqi army and its deterioration not from the strength o IS which was a relatively small force before it seized control of Anbar Province. The organisation grew stronger and expanded in Iraq and Syria after it took territorial control not before. Assuming that US is behind the ruse of IS requires proof that the US is somehow controlling the situation in both Iraq and Syria thus allowing the emergence of group as IS. This is a wrong assumption and there is no evidence even remotely backing it up neither in Syria nor Iraq. US was forced out of Iraq and it had not been yet engaged in Syria at the time of IS’s meteoric rise. How can an entity that lost authority grant it to another entity and since when does US hand over its control to anyone else.
The phenomenon of prominence of IS must be read in terms of reasons IS reached the power and control that it has; not in terms of abstract reason or logic but rather in terms of facts on the ground . It is the facts that dictate what is and what isn’t possible and not vice versa. Therefore it must be put aside what is or is not possible in theory, at least temporarily and must try to explain the facts by reading into them from a methodological standpoint.
The fact that IS has managed to progress so quickly and the fact that it separated from Al Qaeda and formed into what it is now, must be read through the lens of the prevalent balance of power, divisions,conflicts and conditions in the region.
The Iraqi State collapsed at the hands of the US occupation and the country descended into Civil War as a result of the dissolution of the Army and the misguided attempts to restructure new state from scratch, there are deep divisions amongst various components of Iraqi society coupled with prevalent corruption in the Iraqi State and the entrenchment of the conflict along sectarian lines- all of which created an imbalance of power that allowed IS to quickly reach its current level of control and strength. IS also possess certain special features that have consolidated its power network such as daring to take risks, being adventurous and committing uncontrollable “barbaric” acts.
If it were not for the fall of the Iraqi state and the
t of doctrinal divisions, Daesh’s fate
would have been the same as that of the
Juhayman Al-Otaybi movement in Saudi Arabia
who stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979).
The Juhayman Al-Otaybi movement took action
under different circumstances and in light of a
strong state and a cohesive regional and
international balance of power – it only lasted for a
week before immediately being eliminated by the
There are precedents in the history of the global
superpowers, especially America, in which they
have been able, from behind the scenes or through
intelligence infiltration, to support a phenomenon
such as Daesh all the while publically expressing
hostility towards it. The US would even allow its
planes to attack such a phenomenon and
assassinate its leaders (the “Caliph” Abu Bakr Al-
Baghdadi’s deputy was assassinated less than a
month after declaring the “Islamic state”, while in
another air strike, Al-Baghdadi himself was
targeted. It is said that he was wounded during
Since the question of whether or not the US is supporting IS behind the scenes was based on the logic of possibility and feasibility, then the standard of what is and what isn’t possible must be adjusted as the facts and reality, or what has become reality, becomes apparent.The standards of logic do not replace facts; rather they establish the facts in the first place