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On the Expansion of the Islamic State within Failing States

If recent insurgencies into Iraq and Syria by the self proclaimed Islamic State(IS) have failed to alarm and to spur the concern of nations from the Middle East to the western hemisphere, then the international community is oblivion as to affairs of reality. 

However, the reality of current affairs indicate that the IS - in the face of failing states, and in places where access to fair redress by grieved people is lacking; the IS will continue to swoop in to violently offer itself as an alternative protector to the offended and to its sympathizers. 

Hence, failing governance in the Middle East and the radicalization of grieved individuals in the West, continue to serve as fertile grounds and recruitment tools for the IS.

The failed and repressive regime of Bashar Assad in Syria has accommodated the IS control of half of that country including the recent take over of the historic town of Palmyra. Sectarianism and the failure of national unity within Iraq have facilitated the IS to wreck havoc across a section of that country including the recent take over of Ramadi from fleeing Iraqi forces.

"Simply put, the Islamic State is, or is on the verge of becoming, what it claims to be: a state," disclosed David Kilcullen, who was a major player in the United States(US) 2007-08 Iraq troop surge. As reported by Reuters, Kilcullen, in an essay in the Australian Quarterly, remarked: "ISIS fights like a state...It fields more than 25,000 fighters..."

On the other hand, Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq at the Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS), in Washington, DC, has opined that: "Western countries have a clear interest in destroying ISIS, but counter-insurgency should not even be under discussion, " Reuters cited. Cordesman also observed that the battle against the IS "is a straight-up conventional fight against a state-like entity, and the goal should be to utterly annihilate ISIS as a state."

In the meantime, Iraq's deputy Prime Minister, Saleh al-Mutlag, speaking at a conference in Jordan, has called for more international help to fight the IS in Iraq. He called for a "new strategy" for Iraq and the International Coalition forces to "terminate" the IS in Iraq, Reuters reported earlier today.

Therefore, in light of the expansion of the IS despite months of coalition air strikes, logic and inference suggest that present strategy to retard the group, is non effective. The failed Syrian regime and non unity in Iraq will continue to offer fertile grounds for the IS to expand.