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U.N. needs to pitch in to fight ISIS

Editorial cartoon by Drew Shenemen MCT Campus
Editorial cartoon by Drew Shenemen MCT Campus

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, otherwise known as ISIS, has proven to be a massive threat to the Middle East and to the international community. For the past few months, the U.S. and its allies have been trying to combat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, but the militant group still remains at large in both countries. This is why the United Nations should have a more leading role than the U.S. in the war against ISIS.

According to the Department of Defense’s website, airstrikes that were conducted by the U.S.-led coalition, has stopped ISIS’s large convoys while also deterring its members from congregating in large groups.

While this is definitely great for the U.S. and all of the other countries fighting ISIS, the DOD also mentioned that stopping ISIS could possibly take years. The U.S. cannot afford to be engaged in combat with ISIS while it is trillions of dollars in debt.

According to a 2013 article in Reuters, the Iraq War alone cost about $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion owed to Iraqi War veterans. These expenses could even exceed $6 trillion within the next four decades. If the U.S. were to deploy a massive amount of ground troops in Syria and Iraq, it would probably cost them trillions more.

The U.S. wouldn’t have to spend as much money if the U.N. had a more prominent role in the conflict. Different countries around the world could provide financial support to the U.N.’s peace keeping force, which would relieve the amount of money that the U.S. would have to spend, and it gives the U.N. the resources that it would need to fight ISIS. In turn, the U.S. would have the opportunity to spend taxpayer money on domestic issues.

Moreover, the money that the U.S. and its allies are spending to assist the Syrian rebels, the Kurdish forces and the Iraqi military will be wasted if there is no strong infrastructure. According to a 2014 Washington Post article, the infrastructure of the rebel group, dubbed the Free Syrian Army, has shown to be weak due to the fact that many of their members have surrendered or defected to al-Nusra, a Syrian extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda.

The Washington Post published another article in 2014 which described the Iraqi military’s retreat from the town of Hit in Iraq. The article went on to attribute many of the Iraqi military’s defeats to desertion, corruption and the absence of moral. The lack of structure is ever-present in many of the fighters that the U.S. is supporting.

A strong U.N. defense force would have the manpower to adequately provide the Iraqi military, the Syrian rebels and the Kurdish rebels with recourses and reinforcement to combat ISIS. It would also help provide U.S. allies with the tools to build an infrastructure that they need before and after the conflict.

Currently, the U.N. does not possess a strong defense force. According to the U.N.’s website, the U.N. has nearly 10,000 troops, with the U.S. only contributing 76 of them.

Lack of funds is another problem that the U.N. faces. According an article on, a “think tank” that helps find global solutions for global security challenges, the U.S. was $400 million short in funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations which hindered their ability to effectively achieve their goals for global security.

The international community needs to allow the U.N. to have the ability to effectively raise the troops and funds that it needs from its members to have a more proactive role in global security challenges, such as the threat of ISIS.


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  • opinion telescope logo: Telescope Staff/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved
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