Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for UPI on the danger of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:
How dangerous is the Islamic State?Given the barbarism, ruthlessness and brutality of IS in establishing a caliphate in part by absorbing or coercing acceptance by Sunnis, Baathists and former Saddam loyalists disenfranchised or persecuted by the Shia government in Baghdad, will that amalgam hold? Or will IS’s inhuman behavior ultimately provoke a rebellion by local Sunni tribes?
Alternatively, is the IS phenomenon and the surprising suddenness of its seizure of space in Iraq and Syria a harbinger of an even greater threat to the region and beyond? Reports of IS now extending its poisonous tentacles into Pakistan may or may not prove accurate. However, the possibility is very worrying.