Policy Brief on the Islamic State Terrorism for the U.N. General Assembly
Terrorism is the first category threat to the security of the international community. The tragedy of 11 September, 2001, represented a turning point in the modern humankind history. The responsibility for the attacks was taken by al-Qaida. It became a significantly dangerous terrorist organization in the world. However, the developments of the recent years have confirmed that the new terroristic foundation of the Islamic State replaces al-Qaida as the personification of the modern times terrorism. This appeal to the United Nations General Assembly is a step to take drastic measures to combat the Islamic State to exclude its strengthening and prevent such large-scale terrorist attacks as 9/11 in the future.
Islamic State Phenomenon and Its Specification
Until 2013, the discussed terroristic organization had been called The Islamic State of Iraq (Barrett, 2014). It was created on October 15, 2006, by the merger of 11 radical Sunni groups headed by a division of al-Qaida in Iraq (al-Qaeda Jihadin Iraq) (Barrett, 2014). The ISI has set a purpose to capture the Sunni part of Iraq and turn it into a paramilitary Islamic Sunni state when the international coalition forces led by the United States will leave Iraq. Since April 9, 2013, the organization has become known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (in another version, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) (Katzman, Blanchard, Humud, Margesson, Tiersky, & Weed, 2014) as the ISI hitmen involved Syria in the civil war as an independent force.
Essentially, the core menace of this organization is its succession of al-Qaeda. It has been founded and guided now by experienced terrorists (al-Qaida activists). Their primary purpose is to unite the Muslim radical forces to undermine the foundations of the Western world security system (Krech, 2014). In 2010, one of the leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq, named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, became the Emir of the ISI (Kirdar, 2011). In April 10, 2013, the ISIL fighters swore allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri (Ahmadian, 2014).
Primary Causes of the Islamic State Terroristic Threat and the Scopes of Its Spread
The threat of the Islamic State is supported by its financing and followers. In the early years of the ISIS activity, it was financed mainly by the individuals from Qatar, Kuwait, and other Gulf countries, as well as possibly government agencies. It is possible that such kind of the states’ activity still continues. Numerous Sunnis disappointed in all previous governments and groups in the Middle East have gone over to the Islamic State. They were joined by Muslims from Europe, especially from the United Kingdom, as well as from France and Germany. The organization’s leadership led by the self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi clearly has excellent organizational skills. The exact number of the militants in the ISIS is unknown, but presumably it reaches 20000 (Katzman et al., 2014). The core objectives of the Islamic State are unclear. It is supposed that the organization tries to capture entire Levant, including Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey under the Caliphate in a long-term perspective (Barrett, 2014).
Firstly, the ISIS threatens the interests and even existence of many states and ethnic groups. For the first case, Iran is considered, as well as the Shiite government of Iraq, and in a broader sense, all countries of the region. Currently, the Islamic State does not interrupt the Western democratic states. However, the situation could change dramatically. The reason is that the organization’s popularity among the radical Islamic groups of young people in Europe.
Secondly, the ethnic and religious minorities of the region remain is a mortal danger under the shadow of the Islamic State. A large-scale genocide against Christians, Yezidis, Kurds, Shiites, and fewer radical Sunnis has been implemented on the territories controlled by the IS (“UN: Islamic State,” 2015).
United Nations and Subordinate Organizations’ Activity to Combat the Islamic State Terrorism
Documentary Base on the Discussed Issue
The Islamic State is subjected to international sanctions, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), adopted against al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations (The United Nations, n. d.). In August 15, 2014, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the Resolution 2170 (The United Nations, 2014). It is calling for the introduction of sanctions against the six leaders operating in Iraq and Syria groups Islamic State and Dzhebhat en Nusra who participated in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetration of terrorist acts (UN Security Council Sanctions Committees, 2015). The UN Security Council has demanded from the IS and Dzhebhat en Nusra to cease immediately all horror and terrorist acts, refuse from the armament and dissolve (The United Nations, 2014). The ISIS is recognized as a terrorist organization in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Turkey, Egypt, the UAE, India, and Indonesia (Barrett, 2014).
Policy Approaches to Solving the Problem
The key approaches in the fight against the Islamic State and the opposition to terrorism are embodied in two central directions. The first one is reflected in the condemnation of the organization’s activity. Each country may interpret the action of the company’s members, accordingly to its personal vision or the private hidden interests. Thus, this approach is an integral part of a large-scale fight against the terroristic groups. Undoubtedly, without consolidation of states in addressing theoretical issues, any practical implementation of force is doomed to a failure. However, the declarative nature of the common solution approach does not substantially influence a course of events. In any way, the actions of militants are objectively inadmissible for the Western Community and those Eastern states. They are actively involved in opposing the terrorists. Methods of the soft power could not lead to a noticeable success in case of extremism preventing. For mentioned reasons, the effectiveness of the discussed approach is greatly inferior to more radical methods of the confrontation.
The second policy approach is based on sanctions that include funds’ freeze, travel interdiction, and the arms’ prohibition. The states were called to block funds and other economic resources of the fixed persons and foundations without any retention (The United Nations, n.d.). The entry of the IS members on the territory of the UN members should be prevented. Various types of weapon and equipment supplies, technical support, promotion or instructions that can be useful in military cases are forbidden (The United Nations, n.d.). This direction is reasonable because it gives the clear guidance to the UN member states. Following the discussed sanctions may contribute to territorial restrictions in the militants’ actions. Hard customs controls will enable to prevent a spread of weapons and overlapping assets will deprive the terroristic tops of additional income. It is spent on maintaining the ISIS. However, it should be highlighted that the rich leaders from the region full of oil and gas are considered. Freezing of assets could only partly undermine the financial stability of the organization. Moreover, there is no real international institution, which can effectively control the private supplies of weapons to militants. Thus, the fecundity of sanctions depends on the consciousness of the specific states and private persons. The explored approaches have a relatively efficient character. However, they are inherently passive, because they do not involve the use of force. The fight against terrorism requires more decisive steps.
Recommendations to Improve the Policy of the United Nations on the Prevention and Elimination the Islamic State Terrorist Threat
For the efficient confrontation of the Islamic State, the UN should not only improve existing approaches, but develop a new power as well. In order to improve the sanctions regime the special committees that operate on the territory of the European countries, the US and Arab partners, could be created. Regular reports will help the UN to control this direction and keep a closer control over a process of the sanction implementation.
The creation of the new power politics will also be necessary in preventing threats from the IS. The Security Council should promote a more careful monitoring the situation in Iraq and Syria. The implementation of the modern equipment (radars and drones) makes possible to observe the hot points regularly (Katzman et al., 2014). In autumn 2014, a coalition against the Islamic State was established (NATO, 2014). This association should be actively supported by the United Nations and ensured with the wide latitude. Conducting the regular joint exercises allows a better preparing for a possibility of the armed conflicts. Moreover, the rapprochement with Muslim countries allows overcoming the complexity of an inter-civilizational dialogue. Therefore, an establishment of an organization that would be focused on the joint development of the new military technologies under the Security Council patronage is relevantly useful. The fight against the Islamic State can facilitate the convergence of East and West in protecting from a common threat.
The terrorist organization Islamic State is a potential threat to international security and stability of the international order. The resist of its onslaught is possible only by joint efforts, which must be approved by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council particularly. The current policies of the official condemnation and sanctions are not sufficient. They should be strengthened under the control of creating the new UN committees to oversee their implementation. It is necessary to create a strong coalition and provide its further expansion in some measures of the United Nations to counter the IS. Joint military exercises, the development of the new equipment, and the monitoring of hot locations are necessary to eliminate the threat of the Islamic State.