Politicians and experts from many countries of the world have described the terrorist organization Islamic State as one of the greatest threats to global security, which during three years has managed to occupy large areas of Iraq and Syria.
According to a public opinion survey, about 62% of respondents know about IS, 34% said that they have heard about such an organization for the first time.
28% of respondents believe that the efforts of Russia and the West in the fight against IS should be joint, 8% think that Russia must fight the terrorists on its own, and 15% consider that it should not engage in such a struggle.
However, according to Aleksey Fenenko, Associate Professor of International Security at the world politics department of Moscow State University, there are a few interesting points in the activity of the IS.
"The first moment is that I have never heard that there was a big panic in the monarchies of the Gulf about ISIS. Although ISIS is close, and its desired goal is advancement to Er-Riyadh and Al-Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. I did not see that there was any big panic, although the armies in these countries are extremely weak, and it's not necessarily the case that the Americans will help in time. There is no panic regarding ISIS. This tells me that, in general, they understand and they know where ISIS will go," the expert believes.
"The second moment. ISIS did not develop expansion to the east and south, but it is trying to develop its expansion westward in the direction of Syria, and perhaps with the prospect of clashing with Turkey. ISIS creates a very unpleasant thing for Turkey. Either it is necessary to arm the Iraqi Kurds as a possible opposition to ISIS, that's what the Americans are trying to do. But the Turks, excuse me, have their own Kurdistan. How will they deal with the Kurdish problem then? asks Fenenko.
The third moment. Last fall the Americans expected that the problem of ISIS will force Iran to intervene in Iraqi affairs to draw Iran into a major regional conflict of attrition. They did not succeed, no matter how hard the Americans tried, Iran dealt with it. Did not do it, did not sent troops to Iraq, did not get into a direct confrontation with ISIS, reminds the expert.
The General Director of the Center for Strategic Assessments and Forecasts, Sergey Grinyaev, considers that the United States is reviewing its position, role, and geographical strategy in the Middle East. The United States is not satisfied with many former allies today. Above of all, they are the so-called Gulf monarchies, and partly Israel. Today the United States is to replace its allies in the Middle East today with one, but more predictable player. Such a player just might become Islamic State. I believe that in the next years by means of conflicts in the Middle East the Islamic factor will spread and some of the existing regimes will be overthrown as a result of domestic disasters, coups, or as a result of external aggression of the Islamic State. But all this will lead to the fact that the situation in the Middle East will be a bit more predictable, as they will have only one player in the form of a hard, fundamental regime. But how can they manage it, and how can they use it as an ally?
According to the expert, "If the United States had not been opposed to such an ally, they would take measures in order to prevent the export of oil from the Kurdish provinces of Iraq, as well the Syrian provinces controlled by Islamic State, to the international market. In addition, there is evidence of a number of situations when the United States and the coalition could strike a significant blow to the forces of Islamic State by air strikes. But it has not been done for the simple reason that it requires a few different ways and means of solving the problems in today’s Middle East."
So Grinyaev concludes that "In total it means Islamic State is becoming a new international player today. I think that in the near future after a few years the situation is to be changed, and the map of the Middle East will be more predictable in respect of Washington’s goals and tasks.’’
As another expert noted, they are beginning to issue their own gold coins: ‘‘That is obviously not a terrorist organization, which has its own government, ministries, its own national currency, etc. As for the internal contradictions, so today Islamic State has expanded. As I already said earlier, it is formed not like a terrorist organization, and even not like a regional organization, but a state with certain attributes of statehood. So we can see the beginning of a struggle for power, as in any state, or the so-called 'place under the sun'. There are also criminal groups, which have certain local purposes such as former followers of the Ba'ath Party, the Iraqi military and so on, who joined this way as a national liberation movement against the occupying forces of the United States in Iraq. And today they really have different aims in some cases, and this can be an instrument of political struggle.’’
Grinyaev compared the current situation with the situation in Afghanistan at the time of forming of the Northern Alliance: some mujahideen changed their attitude towards the situation in Afghanistan. This situation is possible in the Middle East within the context of Islamic State, but I would like to say once again that today it is not the terrorist organization that the Western mass media informs about. Today it has a lot of force and it receives more significant funding than any other player in the field of international terrorism or global terrorism.’’