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The Role of Islamic State in International Conflict

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‘Islamic State’ was formed following the invasion of Iraq and the execution of Saddam Hussein. However, there have been many other examples of non-state actors operating in the Middle East prior to this, such as Al-Qaeda and Hamas. Non-state actors are identifiable as operating outside traditional internationally acknowledged organizations, such as states. Similarly, non-state actors are recognized for their use of force to achieve political objectives and for the irregularity of their military actions. One example of this is demonstrated through the opposition to most common military doctrines of regular armies by non-state actors. Consequently, it is necessary to consider how traditional methods used in response to international conflict translate when applied to threats posed by non-state actors. Whilst international law continues to be dominated by the influence of States, The role of non-state actors in international conflict has grown significantly in recent years. Groups such as Al-Qaeda and ‘Islamic State’ have demonstrated the shift in international conflict to the inclusion of non-state actors. However, it is necessary to assess whether the response to non-state actors has evolved quickly enough to adequately tackle the changing landscape of international conflict.

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Traditionally, key legislative pieces dictating the international response to threats posed by non-states actors were created through the use of pre-existing doctrines and international conventions. However, this can prove ineffective, as a result of interpretation. In some instances, it is suggested that legislation should only follow a literal interpretation and be applied solely as it was intended in its creation. This is a sticking point for the international response to non-state actors as a result of their developed role in international conflict, as the original legislation does not accommodate for their impact. Subsequently, it is necessary to consider how the international response will develop, in order to ensure a more adequate response to non-state actors. ‘Islamic State’ is known for their use of the internet for a number of purposes, such as the execution of cybercrimes and for the promotion of propaganda. The internet “provides a basis for planning, command, control, and communication among diffuse groups” therefore is providing an ideal platform for the aforementioned activities. One of the key issues faced by the international community in responding to the use of the internet by non-state actors is that it is difficult to trace the source of the information.

Similarly, there is a lack of cohesive laws in investigating the use of the internet by terrorist organizations and an incoherent network for sharing information between states. Subsequently, this has allowed greater exploitation of the internet by non-state actors such as ‘Islamic State’ in their growing prominence in international conflict. Therefore, it is necessary that there is further exploration carried out by the international community in assessing their response to the use of the internet by non-state actors. The purpose of this essay is to critically assess the current international response to ‘Islamic State’ and its limitations, both through its legislative approaches and the attitudes of international bodies such as the United Nations Security Council. This essay will analyze the engagement of ‘Islamic State’ through their use of technology, such as cybercrime and cyberterrorism, and through other actions such as financing their organization, whilst evaluating the influence of their status as a non-state actor on the attitudes of the international response.

Finally, this essay will conclude by assessing the limitations of international responses to the threats posed by ‘Islamic State’, and suggest ways in which this may change in the future.

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The role of Islamic State in international conflict. (2018, Jun 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 23, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-role-of-islamic-state-in-international-conflict/
“The role of Islamic State in international conflict.” GradesFixer, 11 Jun. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-role-of-islamic-state-in-international-conflict/
The role of Islamic State in international conflict. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-role-of-islamic-state-in-international-conflict/> [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].
The role of Islamic State in international conflict [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jun 11 [cited 2021 Apr 23]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-role-of-islamic-state-in-international-conflict/
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