Amid growing outcry and alarm about ISIS, from its genocidal slaughter of the Yazidis to the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley, the U.S. and other Western nations are discussing bombing militant positions in Syria. Many observers, however, have warned that this will be a long fight against an elusive enemy, one that will require a substantial amount of military aid, money, and perhaps even troops.In the Jerusalem Post, Yoram Schweitzer argues that ISIS can be beaten back, but even then it will have changed jihadism forever. ISIS, he writes, has not yet tested itself against a well-armed and well-trained military, and it has only gained ground in territories without effective leadership. Still, it is setting an example for terrorists worldwide:
Its actions have broken customary limits and practices and brought about murderous and destructive practices which are likely to transform the norms of this type of conflict and serve as a source of inspiration and imitation for other organizations identifying with the idea of global jihad. The vast financial resources and advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft missiles, held by ISIS are likely to be transferred to other terror organizations operating in the Middle East and beyond.Also, ISIS’s rule over the territory which connects western Iraq with northern and eastern Syria has turned it into a safe haven which could be used as a base for advancing subversive operations and spreading terrorism, which could further destabilize the region. Such a territory, controlled by an extreme factor with messianic tendencies, will allow Salafi jihad terrorists from around the world to find refuge, use it as an exit point for terrorist activity and return to it again as a safe point afterwards. It will serve as a base for training, transfer of people and weapons, and turn al-Qaida’s vision from two decades ago into a nightmarish reality.
Read the whole thing here, for a sobering view of this game-changing threat.