The US and the governments which are now preparing for war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria need to sit down and figure out who their enemy is and how they intend to impose their will on the adversary. Who did Turkey negotiate with to rescue its citizens who were held captive in Iraq? Who murdered the US Journalists and the British volunteer? Is ISIS a state with a Caliphate who has command and control of its armed and security forces with courts which apply Shariah law and judges to try cases?
Were the US journalists and British aid worker tried and sentenced to death by decapitation by a court? Which judge sentenced them and for what crime under Shariah? Does Shariah permit revenge killings of the citizens of a country because of the actions of their governments?
If the US journalists and the British Aid Worker were not subjected to any trial under Shariah before being beheaded then the US should know that it is not dealing with a Caliphate operating a state under Shariah,on the contrary, it is dealing with stateless persons who are disgruntled with the powers that be and may hide behind any religious, nationalist, ideological pretext to give violent expression of their grievances.
It could be Kenya today, China tomorrow, Egypt the day after, the US the following week, UK,the following month, Pakistan the following year and India in another two years, etc . This population that live in states but do not feel a part of those states have been in existence for decades. What they share in common is alienation. What unifies them is any enterprise that would enable them to hit back at their perceived enemy or threat.
During the cold war it was common to hear about highjacking of planes, red brigades, etc. Now it is Algaeda , Al Nusra, Al Shabab, En Sarudeen etc. Most of these groups are not bound by Shariah law in administering people. They just talk about it. This is why they could abduct girls , turn the young into suicide bombers and attract stateless people from everywhere who are determined to give a bloody nose to a perceived enemy even if it means killing innocent people for their presence to be felt or being killed. Their state is any where there is a contest for power and there is a faction they could identify with , Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia, Palestine,Libya , Syria ,Afghanistan,Darfur , etc.
Here they would usually find a sense of belonging and self worth. They feel powerful and capable of giving expression to their defiance against a perceived enemy or threat. It is therefore no surprise that as those who control states and money aim to expand their influence in regions they could easily find stateless people who are ready to raise the banners of their sects in order to receive arms and material support and money to fight their common foes.
Many of those who are now in ISIS fought the US forces in Iraq, but moved into Syria when the US left Iraq and left them under the siege of the Maliki forces. When Assad was under siege, they joined the fight hoping that once Assad falls like Libya they would be able to gain ground to turn back to unite with the aggrieved Sunnis and take over in Iraq. However when the US failed to aid them to take over Syria they acquired enough sophisticated weapons from the forces which received support from the US and turned those weapons against the Maliki Government in Iraq which did nothing to eradicate the sectarianism between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to create a viable Iraqi State. ISIS could not bring down Assad without US help even though they were at the gates of Damascus, why should it be viewed as a formidable fighting force?
Hence the real task before the US is to work for the establishment of a viable Iraqi and Syrian democratic secular Republican state which accommodates all. There would be no breeding space for ISIS.
In the same vein if viable states are established everywhere, few people would move to countries where they would feel a sense of alienation and statelessness. That would be the end to any rationale for the proliferation of the ranks of the stateless soldiers of misfortune.