The US has started a war against a militarized group operating in Iraq and Syria which has proclaimed itself "Islamic State", but is seen by the US and some others as a "terrorist organization", which has to be "destroyed". And now there are speculations around the world, on whether the US can "beat" the IS. So, can the US do it?
But what is IS?
It is a military group operating in some parts of Iraq and Syria, which, unlike an established state, has no established frontiers and can move around hiding and emerging, shrinking, as a result of being "degraded" and growing due to popular support.
It can change its name, and its style of operation, and even mutate into some different entity, just as it itself has grown from "Al-Qaida in Iraq".
So, while IS are calling themselves a state, and are seeking to establish a state, at present they are not yet a state in the same sense like Germany or Japan were at the time of World War 2. And this means that they cannot be "defeated" in the same sense as "defeating" Germany or Japan in World War 2.
IS is not a state, it is a "movement", an organized group of people "fighting for a cause", and, as long as "the cause" has sufficient ability to motivate sufficient numbers of people, the movement will continue to exist.
But what has brought the IS into being?
Did it exist before the US "War-on-Terror" started in 2001?
Did it exist before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003?
Did it even exist before the US supported attempts to effect a "regime change in Damascus", which has lead to the present situation in Syria?
IS is the result of the US "policies" in the Middle East, and specifically of the "War-on-Terror" as it has manifested itself in Iraq and Syria.
But what is "War-on-Terror"?
It is combination of military, intelligence, propaganda, and diplomacy operations undertaken by pro-Israel groups within the US and some European governments with the objective of "re-shaping the Middle East" to provide security for Israel, following the events of the 9/11, which were used to justify these operations.
The ideological basis of this "re-shaping of the Middle East" was: (1) the world is divided into "democracies" (Israel and the "west") and "dictatorships" (the Arab states and Iran); (2) the "dictatorships" support terrorists (Palestinian organizations); (3) to put an end to terrorism, the "west" must "democratize" the dictatorships, so as to deprive the terrorists (Palestinian organizations) of any support.
The US invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent "regime change", as well as the on-going attempts at a "regime change" in Syria are parts of this "re-shaping of the Middle East".
But neither the "regime change" in Iraq, nor the attempts to "change the regime" in Syria, have lead to the hoped-for Israel-friendly democracies - they have resulted in the emergence of the IS, which the US want to "beat" now.
Nor have any other attempts to "democratize" any other Middle East countries produced "Israel-friendly democracies" - Democratic elections in Gaza? Attempts at a "green revolution" in Iran? Regime change in Libya? Attempts to weaken Hizbullah in Lebanon? Democratic elections in Egypt?
Part of these attempts to "democratize the Middle East" consisted in activities to create conflicts between the Middle East countries, and especially between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in general between the Sunni and Shia Muslim sects. This still further contributed to the instability of the area.
Thus, the War-on-Terror aimed at providing security for Israel and to the supporting it countries has turned out to be 13 years of wars, instability, and expanding "terror".
So the question that should be asked is not "Whether the US can beat IS?", but "How can the US achieve permanent peace and stability in the Middle East, which at present is in a state of turmoil caused by the US War-on-Terror, which in its turn is the result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?"
Three steps are required to achieve peace and stability in the area.
1. Permanent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. Putting an end to the frictions between the Gulf States and Iran, and between Sunnis and Shia in general, which have been provoked and fanned in the course of the War-on-Terror.
3. Stopping interference by the US in the internal affairs of other countries, like promotion of homosexuality and other forms of behavior, which might be common and acceptable in the USA, but are against the customs and traditions of other countries.
Without resolving the above 3 issues, the US might "beat-up" the IS, but the chaos, violence and instability in the area will continue not just for years, but for many decades to come.