As of late, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS/IL) has become a very large problem in the world. Ever since Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has declared a worldwide caliphate in 2014, ISIS has attacked the international community with no regard to gender, religion, or nationality. The self-proclaimed caliphate has operated as an extremist group in the Middle East, with heavy operations in Iraq and Syria.
In a report released earlier this month by the United Nations, ISIS has killed at least 18,802 civilians alone. Bear in mind that this number does not count combat casualties, and most importantly the death toll in the report only was up until October of 2015. That is 18,800 deaths in 16 months (1,175 civilian deaths per month on average). Factor in the more than 36,000 civilians injured and the rate rises to over 2,100 people per month. The final piece of the puzzle is the estimated 3.2 million people displaced by violence, which translates to 160,000 people being forced to leave per month. At this rate, the entire city of Lincoln would be displaced in 50 days, 9 hours, 21 minutes, and 27 seconds.
With these numbers it goes without saying that ISIS is an international threat that needs to be dealt with. Given the recent terrorist attacks, it would appear that ISIS and its campaigns are achieving success. But according to the Pentagon, “Right now it sucks” to be ISIS. Recently, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work stated that the United States is preparing to drop what he called “cyber bombs” to disrupt ISIS communications. Work’s comments on it were that, “Just like we have an air campaign, I want to have a cyber campaign. I want to use all the space capabilities I have.”
However, these cyber attacks on ISIS do have their drawbacks. Defense Secretary Ash Carter did acknowledge that by launching these cyber attacks, it would hinder U.S. intelligence collection, which is important in the fight against terrorism. Even more than that Admiral Michael Rogers, leader of U.S. Cyber Command, said that ISIS could launch counter attacks of their own one day if they wanted to.
Browne, Ryan, and Barbara Starr. “U.S. Official: ‘Right Now It Sucks’ to Be ISIS.” CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Jamieson, Alastair. “ISIS Death Toll: 18,800 Civilians Killed in Iraq in 2 Years: U.N.” NBC News. National Broadcasting Company. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.