Withdrawing Air Strikes Sets A Wrong Precedent

Aishwarya reports from the UNGA-DISEC

The United Nations General Assembly Disarmament and International Security Committee (UNGA-DISEC) was faced with a hostage crisis on the 15th of March, 2015, with 15000 troops of the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) taking control of Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, and taking up to 50 UN workers and Peshmerga Generals hostage.

The ISIS threatened to behead one hostage every hour, unless the United States of America withdrew Air Strikes in the Middle East. The ISIS also warned the Western world of a lethal weapon of mass destruction that was in its possession, and threatened to unleash this weapon, should the decisions made by any nation antagonize the ISIS.

The General Assembly mulled over possible courses of immediate action, debating the repercussions of each course. Multiple member nations, including South Sudan, Argentina, Israel and Brazil built pressure on the United States of America to temporarily withdraw air strikes in the Middle East so as to save the lives of the hostages. Russia and South Sudan also went on to state that air strikes were an ineffective means to root out the ISIS, and asserted that continuation of the same would increase the possibility of the ISIS using its lethal weapon.

The USA, however, begged to differ, and categorically stated that it would not withdraw air strikes, or any of its troops fighting the battle against terror, as it believed this would set the wrong precedent for other nations, and would give the ISIS the belief that taking foreign nationals hostage was the best way to arm-twist nations fighting the battle against terror to succumb to their demands and weaken their respective stances. The United States also mentioned that withdrawing troops even temporarily would lead to them losing a stronghold in keeping terrorist groups in check, and would aggravate the issue altogether.

The United States suggested that member nations tackle the crisis pragmatically, and capitalize on the fact that the deployment of 15,000 ISIS troops to the city of Erbil alone implied that the ISIS was relatively weaker in terms of numbers in all other parts of the Middle East under its control. This, in the United States’ belief, was a ripe opportunity for nations battling terror to crack down on the ISIS severely, thus taking a stance in contrast to most other nations in council, that believed that the lives of the hostages were not to be sacrificed as collateral damage simply because the USA was afraid it would set the wrong precedent.

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