For those who have been following the news story on the Islamic State (IS), also called the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS), it comes as no surprise that the Obama Administration decided to launch military airstrikes against the militant group.
The group has not only threatened the national security of Iraq and the Kurdish people who reside there, but also the regional security of surrounding Middle Eastern nations and Western countries.
The West and the US are natural enemies of the terrorist organization and the dehumanizing values the organizations uphold; President Obama has even called the group “organized evil.”
Here are four important reasons why the conflict in Iraq should concern Americans:
ISIS threatens US national security.
The conflict poses a threat for all US embassy personnel in Iraq and the Kurdish territories. One thing Benghazi has taught us is that we must not leave our diplomats, who support American interest abroad, unprotected or in harm’s way.
The US has two options for preventing another Benghazi (where an ambassador and three other American embassy workers were killed): 1) Pull foreign service staff from the country, or 2) Provide enough security to the US Embassy so that it can readily provide defense for a potential IS attack.
This is not the only threat to American security. If ISIS is allowed to gain control of the region and obtain more military capability, the threat for terror attacks on all opposition to IS forces would be heightened.
The US is an obvious opposition force that threatens the existence of the militant group.
The militant group supports female genital mutilation.
Reports over the past couple of weeks have surfaced, showing that ISIS is advocating for FGM: female genital mutilation.
Some tribal groups, mostly in Africa and Asia, carry out the practice and now, the militant group has said that it expects females from ages 11-46 to undergo the procedure around the city of Mosul (Al Arabiya).
This is a direct attack on the female population and the international community should be outraged by such human rights violations.
Inaction may have catastrophic effects.
If you have been following the story on IS, you will know that the militant group has been gaining territory throughout the past few months and is now threatening the security Kurdish territories' security.
If the group is allowed to continue to gain territory, it may develop into that which it is seeking to be: an Islamic state, sovereign over much of the Iraqi and Syrian territories.
Some scholars have noted that this group is more dangerous than Al Qaeda, which rejected the organization, calling it too extreme. If the terrorist organization responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks calls a group too extreme, what does it say about the capabilities and malicious values of ISIS?
The international community should not blindside the humanitarian emergency.
As we have seen with other ongoing conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, innocent civilians can unfortunately get caught in the crossfire and end up as casualties of war or as refugees, forced out of their homes and nations.
The war between the Syrian and Iraqi government with ISIS is no exception. Numerous people have either been killed or displaced as a result of the conflict and the international community should support the right these people have to live in peace.
The US and other nations should continue to provide for refugees' needs. International organizations, such as the United Nations, are said to support causes and foreign nations should rally international support to protect those who ISIS threatens.