THE FOG OF WAR

How growing threat in the Middle East could spell doom for future Bixby graduates

Jake DeLoache, sports editor

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To be in Sunnis Iraq in the fall of 2014 is to be at the center of hell itself- Dante’s inferno personified. The Islamic militant group called ISIS, formally known as Al-Qaeda, and recently re-branded as the Islamic State, is the stuff of nightmares. They are ruthless fanatical killers on a mission. That mission is to wipe out anyone and everyone from any other belief system, to impose “Shari Alla”, the mass executions, beheadings, and even crucifixions they are committing work towards this goal, which are flaunted and uploaded on the internet for the whole world to see. They are the new face of evil.

But where did ISIS come from? Where did they receive their arms, training, and funding? To understand the answers to these questions we must start in the middle of the story during the 2011 Libyan Civil War and the downfall of the tyrannical Mummar Gaddafi regime. It was in this north African wasteland in which the American CIA formed a para-military organization armed, funded, and even trained by American foreign operatives for the purpose of dispelling the Gaddafi dictatorship from Lybia. What the CIA failed to take into account was the organization’s political leadings and over-zealous religious ideology, which would play a huge factor in post-Gaddafi Lybia, and it was this American-backed organization containing many of the same fighters that had fought against coalition troops in the Iraq War that would soon bloom into the murderous group known as ISIS.

In the years following the Lybian Revolution, ISIS would only grew in size and radicalism, and began to spread out to other hot beds of upheaval in the Middle East and across the Muslim world in a period that would come to be known as the “Arab spring”, which continues to rage today. Foremost amongst the Islamic war zones were Syria, which in 2013 was entering the second year of a bloody civil war, and Iraq, where despite with a U.S. emplaced government, a huge power vacuum existed. A vacuum which ISIS was determined to fill, and horrendous conflict began.

After several U.S. journalist’s were killed and scenes of mass execution flashed across American television, President Barack Obama made the decision to dispatch Special Forces operations to train Iraqi security forces, and more importantly authorized airstrikes and coordinated assaults of ISIS military installations with the hopes of checking the inexorable advance of ISIS forces, which grow in number and fanaticism every day.

Despite U.S. special forces operatives training Iraqi forces to combat ISIS, and a growing numbers of air strikes being carried out everyday, it is becoming increasingly likely that the only way to effectively dispatch the Islamic militants is by deploying mass numbers of ground troops once again to the war-ravaged nation of Iraq. This leaves us to ask the question, how many lives will it cost this time around?

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