What Happens After ISIS is Defeated?

By Mitchell Agredano

            As the Mosul Offensive continues, an ISIS defeat is inevitable and begs the question, “What happens after they’re defeated?” ISIS has committed atrocities in the Middle East, killing millions of people and subjecting entire cities to their oppressive rule. The Islamic State has terrorized not only the Middle East, but the entire world, having taken responsibility for several devastating terrorist attacks around the world. President Obama’s envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS, Brett McGurk, a U.S. diplomat, believes that if the Iraqis tried to solve every political issue before launching the Mosul Offensive, ISIS would “remain in Mosul for the foreseeable future and perhaps forever.”

            Although Brett makes a good point, it’s important that we know what could occur as a result of an ISIS defeat. The rise of ISIS was a result of a lack of preparation for what would happen after Al Qaeda had been defeated. The defeat of Al Qaeda and death of Osama Bin Laden created a political vacuum that ISIS took advantage of to expand their group. The Middle East is filled with many different groups that do not generally get along. For example, the tension between Sunni and Shiite Muslims prevents them from working with each other.

            A defeat of the Islamic State would hopefully bring peace to the Middle East, but if the coalition behind the ISIS defeat isn’t adequately prepared for what will happen after, we could see another group like ISIS return, maybe even worse.