The War on ISIS

Posted by Winnie Melda on November 2nd, 2018

Contemporary Issue

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) is a jihadist militant group that is responsible for the kidnapping, beheading, and torture of soldiers, civilians, and aid workers.  The United Nations and Many other individual countries have categorized ISIS as a terrorist organization due to its blatant human rights abuses and war crimes.  America has been at the frontline in the fight against ISIS.  The United States of America has organized numerous airstrikes across countries such as Iraq and Syria. The purpose of the airstrikes is to obliterate, weaken, and eventually eliminate ISIS organization.   Unfortunately, the America led airstrikes has been associated with civilian deaths.  According to the Guardian News report (2016), civilian casualties from air strikes by the US-led coalition have increased. The airstrikes are resulting in the alienation of innocent civilians rather than the ISIS fighters.


Ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the proper course action for people. In philosophy, ethical theories are categorized into three general subjects: metaethics, normative ethics and applied ethics. Metaethics addresses the origins of ethical principles and their meaning.  Normative ethics addresses the moral standards that regulate and actions and thus determines whether it is right or wrong.  Applied ethics, on the other hand, focuses on controversial issues such as capital punishment, animal rights, and environmental concerns (Shaw, 2016).


When discussing war, the concept of normative ethics arises as discussions on whether America and its allies should continue to bombard ISIS stronghold.  America and its allies may be applying the Golden Rule when conducting airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.  The Golden Rule argues that we should do unto other, what they would want others to do to us.  Using the Golden Rule, the United States of America and its allies can justify its actions against ISIS. America would argue that it is justified to attack ISIS stronghold as the terrorist group is torturing and killing innocent people.  From the perspective, it would make sense that America is trying to save the Syrians and Iraqi people from the control of ISIS.  Air strikes thus strive to terminate its members and break down the group.  ISIS began as a small militia group, but its instant growth and increase in power render nations such as Syria inhabitable. 

ISIS serves no other interests buts its own thus the need to eliminate the terror group.  ISIS is known to behead Syrians that refuse to support or join its group.  America’s air bombardments of Syria are, therefore, justified and valid as ISIS has shown the potential to run down a nation.  The air-strikes weaken and push back the terrorists thus minimizing their presence across the country. America’s actions can also be justified using duty theories.   Duty theory is based on the perception of obligation.  America feels obligated to protected developing nations against insurgents and terror groups that are crippling the country.  America also feels obligated to protect noncombatants, innocent civilians, as well as the public infrastructure (Harrison, 2016).  From the duty theory perspective, America cannot sit and watch as a nation such as Syria is run down by terror groups.  The terror group needs to be eliminated by all means possible so as end their growth and further expansion to other nations.

Opposing Views

 America’s engagement in the fight against ISIS is genuinely geared at weakening and eventually eliminating the terror organization.  The group has vowed to attack the western nations and thus America is justified to try and weaken the group rather than wait to see whether the attack would happen.  However, America needs to evaluate the consequences of its actions and determine whether the overall outcome is beneficial. According to consequentialism, an action is appropriate if its outcome is more favorable than unfavorable.  The rising number of civilian casualties is an indicator that America’s airstrikes are causing more harm than good.  Innocent children, men, and women are dying, getting maimed and injured as a result of the airstrikes.  Another opposing opinion arises from the philosophy of utilitarianism.

The concept of utilitarianism argues that an action is morally right if the consequences of the action are more favorable than unfavorable to everyone (Shaw, 2016).  The Syrians may be appreciative of America’s efforts to intervene and fight off the ISIS.  However, an analysis of the resulting damage and death to innocent civilians begs the question of whether the airstrikes are yielding positive results. In some of the airstrikes, America has killed civilians rather than the ISIS fighters. In other airstrikes, America has targeted locations such as schools and children play yards thus resulting in the death of children.


 Philosophy is a study that strives to understand the fundamental truth about occurrence around communities, societies, and the world.  The continued airstrikes by America and its allies has generated extensive debate on whether the actions are necessary or a bit extreme.  The death of innocent civilians has resulted to debate on whether America should cease the airstrikes or go on until they obliterate ISIS.


Harrison, E. (2016). Civilian’s death toll on the rise from American-led airstrikes against ISIS.  The Guardian. Friday, July 2016

 Shaw, W. (2016). Utilitarianism and the ethics of war. Routledge Publications

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in college research paper services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for best essay services online.

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Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
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