The Islamic State Threat. What should the United States do about the Islamic State? As attacks, beheadings and burnings become more extreme, the west’s response seems muddled. The public discussion of the issue is emotional and often devoid of facts, lately centering on whether the Islamic State is payback for the Crusades. Last summer President Obama initiated airstrikes on the Islamic State; a group he had referred to as the ‘JV Team’ of terrorists, a remark which will go down as one of the greater mistakes of his administration. Later he called for airstrikes, promising ‘no boots on the ground’, now he is asking Congress for a new force authorization which may or may not give Obama – or the next president – authority to send troops into the region to fight the Islamic State. As the group expands into Libya, Yemen and threatens Europe, it’s time for ordinary Americans to start thinking about what the country’s response should be. Yes, this will be an election issue in 2016 because the threat will get worse before it gets better. Has anyone told you how the Islamic State differs from Al Qaeda? What are the theological underpinnings of the group and how does its theology appeal to Sunni Tribes in the region? Is this a religious conflict, or tribal? What is Iran’s role in the fight? These aren’t questions for foreign policy experts, but for ordinary Americans who are going to be voting for presidential candidates, as the 2016 race begins in less than one year. Do you know what you need to know? Or, are you ok with going into another conflict, where service men and women are going to die, without asking the important questions; Why? What are the stakes? What is the foreign policy of the United States. What should it be? How do we conduct ourselves in the world? What interests are we willing to use deadly force to protect? How might we have caused this conflict. How do we avoid this happening in the future? What have we learned as a people about these kinds of struggles, since the US first invaded Iraq in 2003. Has our Afghanistan experience taught us anything? You can listen to people scream and yell at each other on cable TV news and talk radio, or we can get down to business and discuss as many parameters of the issue as possible (Editor’s Note: Or at least the parameters I have been able to research so far). The Islamic State is a gathering storm. The current state of affairs in the Middle East is becoming a dangerous threat to the region and Europe directly, maybe the United States directly. The old World War 2 and Cold War foreign policy paradigms won’t work. Those who are ignorant of at least the broad contours of the situation are more easily manipulated in the political process. Take some time and get a little more balanced view of the situation. Sponsored by Depot Star.