Hypothetically, what positive aspects could come out of the next 50 years of Middle Eastern-US policy if ISIS is successfully able to create and defend territory between Iraq and Syria?

  • 3
    Positive to whom? Dec 15 '15 at 7:39
  • 2
    I did vote to close as a duplicate, but after thinking about it I can see your point. You're approaching it from the side of a hypothetical Islamic State, something stable like Israel is for Jews. Still, it's primarily opinion-based. Dec 15 '15 at 8:44
  • 5
    I voted to close this question. 1. such hypothetical questions are impossible to answer without clairvoyant powers because they depend on too many unknown variables and 2. Which aspects are positive and which aspects are negative always depends on opinion and viewpoint in politics.
    – Philipp
    Dec 15 '15 at 9:15
  • I really like the concept of this question. I just don't know how to word it in a non-opinion-based way.
    – Bobson
    Dec 21 '15 at 18:27
  1. It will be a counterbalance to Shia axis (an effective one, unlike the current Sunni powers that basically are largely ineffectual and mostly amount to asking for help from USA).

  2. It will possibly attract the most radical and hardline Muslims away from other countries, the same way communists tried to move to USSR.

  3. It will provide a sustainable basis for stabilizing geopolitics of Middle East - at least its Iraq portion - by carving it up into separate homogeneous Shia, Sunni, and Kurd pieces.

    Plenty of people see this as a beneficial long term outcome, though of course that's hard to assess as a hypothetical.

  4. It will increase anti-Islam sentiment in the West, by showcasing the worst sides of it - emanating from the purest implementation of it, based on Atalntic's expert analysis in "What does ISI really want".

    Depending on one's point of view, that may be a benefit or not.

  5. Not likely, but the consequences of #4 might just be the catalyst for Islam to undergo its own Reformation, the way Christianity did in early 17th century, formalizing and establish-ising less hardline and less fundamentalist versions of the religion.

  6. It gives USA and the rest of the West a much better target.

    If they have a reason/excuse/need to strike at ISIS, it's a LOT easier to find a meaningful target if your opponent is a stationary "real" state - with real and tangible material assets, infrastructure, and leadership who are comfortable and thus sedentary - as opposed to a militant movement which is far lighter on all 3.

  • 1. Why would a counterbalance to Shia axis be needed, are they as bad as IS? Or are they even worse to need a terrorist state like IS for effective counterbalance?
    – Noor
    Dec 20 '15 at 12:02
  • 2.They are already there and did it prevent terrorism in the west? 3.How can a terrorist state ever provide a sustainable basis for stabilizing M E. Who will benefit from the division of Iraq, Iraqis or US/ Israel? 4.Islamophobia very high already.5. Islam does not need a reformation, the Muslims need to get to know the true teachings and apply them in their life.6.They are a good target but the intention hitting the target is weak.
    – Noor
    Dec 20 '15 at 12:25
  • @Noor - (1) they are bad. Doesn't matter if they're "as" bad. (2) Counterfactuals are hard to prove. Presumably every fighter who is IN ISIS territory is one who isn't attacking anyone in the West. (3) Long term, everyone. Having a country made like a jigsaw is the catalyst for many problems (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Ukraine, Nagorno Karabah, etc...)
    – user4012
    Dec 20 '15 at 14:04
  • @Noor - (4) not really. There's far more attacks on Jews than on Muslims in every Western country. Matter of fact, there are virtually NO attacks on Muslims, statistically speaking. (5) ISIS disagrees with you. So do most unbiased scholars I heard from. ISIS is using true teachings. And you don't seem to understand what the main point of Reformation was (which was "I can decide for myself what God wants, not what Pope/Mullah-in-Holy-City/Chief Rabbi said"). (6) That's irrelevant. The argument is that being a "real" state makes one less ilkely to be a threat since you have more/easier to lose
    – user4012
    Dec 20 '15 at 14:08
  • @user4012- 1.What is bad about Shias in your opinion? Do they threaten the whole world with terrorist actions? Do they behead people or burn them alive? Do they invade countries and steal their resources? Do they destroy heritage of mankind? Do they claim that education is bad for girls? Do they enslave women and sell them? 2. So you need to build a wall around IS territory and make sure they wont get out.3. Every division of a country by powers from outside follows the agenda of "divide and rule".
    – Noor
    Dec 22 '15 at 13:03

It allows study of different societies as a comparison. If Islamic STATE continues to exist, sociologists can compare and contrast people's GDP/capita among different societies and we will have objective proof whether it is good or not. I predict it will fail miserably. It can be held as an example of a mistake never to be repeated like the holocaust or Venezuela Chavismo.

It can also act as a sink or sponge for sociopaths around the world, drawing them out of productive societies and concentrating them into a localized area.

  • 1
    Do you have anything to back up your prediction?
    – Philipp
    Dec 17 '15 at 13:30
  • Yes, from accounts of people who have fled Islamic STATE npr.org/sections/money/2015/12/04/458524627/… They do not have a secure border like USSR or North Korea so cannot prevent productive people from fleeing. The only people left will be the looters.
    – Chloe
    Dec 20 '15 at 6:53

There no such thing as "successfully implementing" the Islamic State. IS inherently wants to be perpetually at war.

It's in its core philosophy that it can't accept borders with its neighbors.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .