The proclaiming of Islamic State as a sovereign nation, a caliphate, gives Western nations an opportunity to address I.S. terrorism as acts of war with all the consequences of that term. The West has reacted in shock and anger to the heinous murders in Paris last Friday, but Islamic State's thumbing its nose at the international community goes back much further.
Leaders of the terrorist group captured vast expanses of Syria and Iraq long ago, defeating government troops in Iraq and other insurgencies in Syria to lay claim to towns and cities. Sketchy reports (Islamic State territories are not safe for news reporters) indicate that ISIS has set up governmental services and is behaving as a legitimate, sovereign nation.
If ISIS is to be a sovereign nation, it must live by the rules of the international community, among which is you don't attack other countries without suffering the consequences. The United States, Russia, Britain and France, however, have not responded in the way that they would to a military threat from a more traditional enemy. All have provided degrees of support for those opposing ISIS, but they have not declared war; they have not deployed their armed forces against the self-declared caliphate; they have not acted to protect themselves and their allies.
After Friday's attacks in Paris, why was the NATO treaty not invoked? NATO was built on the idea that an attack by an outside power on any member nation is an attack on all NATO nations and must be opposed in the same way. The ISIS attacks in Paris were surely an attack on France by an enemy that claims to be a sovereign country. If all of NATO's military assets were deployed against ISIS, the caliphate could be ground into the desert sands in a matter of weeks or days. Russia also has been a target of ISIS terror and appears ready to join with NATO to obliterate this threat against Western Civilization.
ISIS has made it clear that it is not satisfied to control territory in the deserts and villages of Iraq and Syria. It wants to bring down Western culture; it wants to kill all infidels and apostates throughout the world. This ambition will not be abandoned; it must be obliterated and replaced by more moderate countries and organizations willing to live at peace among the community of nations.