http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/141987/robin-simcox/isis-worst-nightmare

In this article titled “ISIS’ Worst Nightmare”, Robin Simcox argues against the idea that the US intervening militarily with the ISIS crisis would rally public support for the terrorist group and “bolster the jihadists’ narrative”, and instead believes that increased military efforts in Iraq would be “ISIS’ Worst Nightmare”.  

Although Simcox argues correctly that ISIS probably is not trying to provoke an attack from the US and that US’ military involvement in Iraq would be extremely detrimental to the terrorist group, it would nonetheless aid ISIS propaganda and increase the anti-West and anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, “especially if there are civilian casualties”, which are hard to avoid.  After the drawn out Iraq war, Iraqi civilians have a very low level of trust for the United States.  According to polls conducted by Shibley Telhami, the general consensus in Iraq and some Arab states regarding the Iraq war is that Bush used the pretense of democracy as a means to justify an unpopular war.  Arabs did not believe that the United State’s efforts to bring democracy to Iraq was sincere.  This may also be due to the history of previous presidents advocating for democracy and then putting it aside when other strategic priorities arose.  This distrust towards the United States will be heightened if the US pursues a higher level of military force because of the underlying assumptions of the Iraqi people and Arabs that the US’ intentions are not sincere.