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“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

-Albert Einstein

The question of how to defeat ISIS has presented itself as the most important foreign policy question of the era. I argue that a military solution in the long run will not be the sole solution. The goal is to destroy ISIS according to the President, but a military solution like bombing is only useful in putting pressure on our adversaries to get them to talk peace. Whatever idea it is that they are fighting for viz. the notion that the American led west is evil, cannot be defeated by 500lbs. bombs no matter how many we drop. The central problem with modern warfare is its total destructiveness. I will argue that this dilemma makes the war self- defeating.

     In the first few weeks against ISIS U.S. led airstrikes ran 4100 sorties, dropping 500lbs. bombs on targeted sites. The problem is that though our military capability has grown with technology to the point that our destructive capacity is almost unlimited, so too has modern weaponry coupled with a powerful military ideology, including  techniques such as suicide bombing and remote detonated IED’s, made ISIS and other militant groups all the more destructive.

In 1994(pre-war spending) the U.S. spent roughly 288 billion[1] on military defense. The next highest country on the list of military spending was Russia at 96.8 billion dollars[2]. The 15th country Spain spent only 7.4 billion dollars[3]. With years of defense spending the gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world increased and U.S. military hardware became more and more technologically advanced as well as destructive.

So, that’s good right? No one would dare mess with United States. We know from the last decade that that is not true. Herein lies the problem. As our military capabilities have increased with technology, so have theirs (ISIS). ISIS can knock out a military checkpoint or a town with a truck bomb full of explosives; or take out a whole village with two soldiers and an automatic assault rifle. They can now remote detonate explosives with a cell phone. This coupled with their military ideology has made them more destructive than any military was 100 years ago, and more destructive than any Muslim military was in the heyday of the contemporary history of Islam or the Middle East.

    Though U.S military is unmatched in terms of its destructive capability, ISIS destructive capacity, and the destructive capabilities of other nations has increased dramatically as well. But, it is not just their weapons, but their weapons combined with their military ideology that makes their ability to be destructive so potent. The combination of the destructive capacities on both sides of the war will only lead to the destruction of more nations of the Earth. Human beings were never meant for warfare with weapons of this magnitude. The end result is that our destructive capacity, along with theirs, is destroying countries one by one. We can only drop so many 500lbs. bombs on villages until we figure out that the only thing we are destroying is the world. We are leading the world, head first with our heads downward, into Armageddon, if the military solution, with intensive bombing campaigns, is seen as the solution to the world’s conflicts.

[1] Spiegel, Steven L., Wehling, Fred L. World Politics in a New Era. Holt, Reinhart and Winston. Orlando, Florida.(copyright 1999). Pg.514.

[2] Ibid. pg.514

[3] Ibid. pg.514

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