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Gwendolyn Scott
Professor David Bachman
JSIS 201
January 21st, 2016
First Response Paper: The Islamic State
When it comes to the situation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this is no
longer a problem that any one country can address alone. This is a crisis that is affecting the lives
of people in countries all over the world and the threat continues to grow every day. This is why
the international community must address this problem as a united international force. The world
must also not just rely on soft power like sending aid and training soldiers--which has had little
impact on the conflict so far. Instead they must put a considerable amount of American and
European boots on the ground. Strong military power is the only completely effective way to
attack the threat of ISIS It will also bring their reign to an end in a quick manner which is
important to both the people still living in the war torn countries but also to the refugees that are
currently fleeing their country to live in foreign and unwelcoming countries. It is important to
understand that we must not completely stop the use of soft power, it is still an important aspect
of creating a world that is peaceful and stable. Yet, when there is a threat as large and powerful as
ISIS it is more important to destroy the threat through hard power then later proceed by trying to
stabilize the social or economic systems of the affected countries.
Even now, certain countries have become involved with the campaign against ISIS.
France has declared war on ISIS, the United States recently sent in a limited troops to assist the
Kurdish forces, Russia has been conducting airstrikes, and many other countries have sent aid in
both militaristic and economic forms. This is not the most effective path that the world could be

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taking, the leading countries in this struggle should be working together instead of separate, as
one fighting force against ISIS. Both Kagan and Stavridis agree that there must be a uniting
aspect to the battle, but they dont emphasize it as much as they should be. Countries like France,
The United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and any other countries that are or wish to take a
part in this fight, should form alliances, like those created in World War I and II. This will create
a sense of unity that will make it easy to justify sending troops into the battlefield and will speed
up the conflict into a war. This war, led by strong countries that embody the morals set in place
by the United Nations and their own national beliefs, will be over soon and will destroy any trace
of the ISIS conflict.
Yet, even if the countries unite, the amount military action currently used is not enough to
completely cut the threat of ISIS. As Kagan discussed in his article, sending troops is not
something that should have to go to debate. In 1989 30,000 troops were sent to Panama to deal
with a dictator, 300,000 were sent to fight in Korea, and 500,000 were deployed to Vietnam. This
kind of involvement is a normal part of American international participation. It is especially
disappointing to see that we havent sent a considerable force since the Paris Attacks occurred.
Such a direct and symbolic attack on a western country is something that should not have slipped
by without significant response. Also, because the United States would be fighting alongside
other countries, an enormous amount of troops is not needed. A number as small as 50,000 troops
would be more than enough. If other countries stand by us, our troops will crush ISIS and regain
control of Syria by removing them from any occupied land.
With the use of hard power, it is easy to get carried away with the idea that the only goal of a war
against ISIS is their elimination. As a leading country, the United States must always remember
that stability is the true goal of any such conflict. Soft power is what the western world must use

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once the current threat is on the decline or already gone. The United States and other western
countries must work to provide jobs, education, to to reform to the countries that will be
devastated after the conflict with ISIS is finally over. This should start during the conflict, though
in a lesser sense. Once we know that the crisis is past the involved countries must prove to the
refugees that is safe to come back and start their country anew. This is when soft power can
begin to take over for the hard power we will have used to end the crisis. It is important that once
the conflict is over, the military from western countries should leave and give control back to the
Syrian forces. Instead, the United States and other countries should give them aid through non
governmental forces like the Red Cross and through advice and education for their leaders. In
this sense we can help to create a strong and peaceful country, while also being able to step back
and let the local governments take control.
This is just a brief response to the complicated situation that is occurring in Syria with the
Islamic State. All these aspects should be in the debates of all the countries currently involved. A
united and international force must be created to defeat the forces ISIS has occupying and
attacking cities both in the middle east and around the world. Hard power must be utilized so that
their rising influence can be crushed . Finally soft power should be a participant both during and
after the conflict so that a more stable Middle East can emerge from the wreckage of this crisis.