Iraqi residents inspect damage in an area of the city of Fallujah held by anti-government fighters on May 7, 2014 following shelling by government forces
© AFP
Iraqi residents inspect damage in an area of the city of Fallujah held by anti-government fighters on May 7, 2014 following shelling by government forces
Last updated: October 29, 2014
“Apical dominance” syndrome and the emergence of ISIS

"Is this a serious fight against ISIS or just wasting time and opportunities?"

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Apical dominance is the term used in botany to describe the control of the shoot tip over axillary bud outgrowth, it does so to make sure that no branch can outgrow the tip. Naturally it saves the plant from wasting resources on unwanted growth, but it could also dwarf it if gone too far.

SINCE 1990, the US officially holds on to this top position and hence should take the blame for any compromise in the health of the world. It is well known now that President Obama is the most hesitant leader when it comes to using military force, which is part of the job description, even when necessary to save lives and peace in many parts of the globe. That was certainly unlucky for Iraq but very encouraging to criminal and savage gangs like ISIS. Mr Obama bizarrely and cravenly licked his clear military intervention threat over using chemical weapons in Syria in 2013. That was the signal awaited by ISIS to suddenly branch out of its tiny spot in Syria.

Australia, Spain, Denmark, UK, France and most other western countries, beside regional neighboring countries of Iraq are more than willing to assume their duties in confronting this terrorist tsunami that may eventually burst in their own homelands. Even parliaments in some of them approved or enacted this deployment of troops and jet fighters in an unprecedented but welcome move. With the head of the coalition still undecided and unchallenged, it is a virtual war launched on paper with no tangible results on the ground after two months.

"It is well known now that Obama is the most hesitant leader when it comes to using military force"

Last September the Coalition of 50 plus elite armies managed 4,100 air missions over the war zone, mainly in Iraq, killing only 300 ISIS fighters and wounding 450. Much less than what the Islamic State can mobilize in a single week. Is that a serious fight against ISIS or just wasting time and opportunities?

Iraqi government figures on the other hand suffer from a dual apices case. Dominated by traditional religious confusions with lazy nostalgic reliance on heaven as the ultimate planner and Savior in dear times, and in the same time by a strong belief in the Americans to eventually stand by them if one day cornered in their Green Zone or southward. They arrogantly deny both claims. No serious measures in mobilizing or investing in the international coalition or internal capabilities can be seen. Taking over two months just to appoint a Defense Minister in the new government is an example of how awkward and unfocused their ways are. It is again the duty of the Coalition, or part of it, to convince or even force the Iraqi government to accept the military help intensely needed to overcome ISIS. Not just Iraq and Syria are endangered, as the threat will eventually disseminate to impinge all.

PERSISTENT AIR STRIKES alone can bring a whole country to its knees, as we all witnessed with Iraq itself previously, but cannot eliminate dangerously small and swiftly moving targets spread over vast territories with a brutal notoriety. Foreign ground forces with bases and helicopters and advanced intelligence systems are needed to win this battle. On top of all that it needs the decided and settled will to be full heartily involved, which is not yet shown by the Americans. The rest of the Allies are apparently more eager and sincere in their resolve. Iraqi forces by all means are currently incapable of driving ISIS out and need months to build up after the disintegrating defeat last June in Mosul.

Alternative options must be deliberated as long as the apex is not yet determined. Whether under NATO or Arab League command, the flag needs to be passed so a horizontal terrestrial victory can be claimed to wipe out ISIS beasts and restore Iraqi integrity for the sake of the whole plant – or planet. 

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