It is a false dilemma in some ways because there ARE other alternatives, such as a propaganda war, but on the face of it a military response seems the most likely alternative to just throwing in the towel.
What do you think? Are we going to end up committing soldiers to fight ISIS and take their territory away from them.
And by "we," I don't necessarily mean the United States. ISIS is a lot more at Europe's and Asia's backdoor than the US's.
While IS procuring nuclear weapons is a nightmare, they are still only around 25k ferocious warriors. I hardly believe they will be able to soon, or at any point, establish a nuclear program, weaponize it, miniaturize the warhead, and research rocketry to a sufficient level to deliver it. Only a handful of nations have ever managed this, at great cost and took a long(ish) time. The day IS manages to establish something akin to a functioning state with secure borders is the day we can worry about that eventuality.
As for the destruction of historical sites it is something which is awful, but outside of our control. The difference between Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, or London vs Palmyra or Nimrud is that the former are within our sphere of influence while the latter are not. While it would be nice to protect them, the question becomes at what cost, and if you are very concerned then little stops you from picking up a gun and go and try to protect them.
Is it racist to be a realist in the matter of foreign policy? Perhaps the outcome is perceived that way, but the intention is only to recognize the extent of one's power. And that type of thinking has been sorely lacking in the West for some time.
establish a nuclear program, weaponize it, miniaturize the warhead, and research rocketry to a sufficient level to deliver it.
If they overran Israel, which is certainly among their intentions, everybody knows that Israel possess nuclear weapons.
Delivery systems need not be sophisticated. You don't need an intercontinental ballistic missile to put a nuclear warhead in NYC, you just need a merchant marine ship. You can blow it up in the harbor even before it is inspected by the Customs agents.
To get a bomb into Chicago or Dallas, just bring it across the border between the normal highway checkpoints. The idea that nuclear weapons can only be delivered by sopisticated means is naive.
I think Israel has shown she can defend herself, and kinda the point of nuclear weapons is to fire them if you are about to be overrun.
For the second part, I already wrote "imposing strict border controls (..) and tightening of surveillance and intelligence"
I hardly believe they will be able to soon, or at any point, establish a nuclear program, weaponize it, miniaturize the warhead, and research rocketry to a sufficient level to deliver it.
North Korea could help, given some cash.
NK has provided technical assistance, but can't ship any materials as IS does not control a port. If they were, and now we are pretty far into the realm of unlikelihood, an NK ship headed towards an IS port would be conspicuous enough for it to be fairly easy to figure out. I'm also pretty sure Israel knows how to spot a nuclear reactor being built in it's neighborhood and has the capacity to take one out if they so well please.
I think it's unlikely too, but not out of the question. As long as ISIS can sell oil (which means black market connections), they'll be able to buy expensive stuff.
It's time for those Muslim countries in the Middle East who oppose fanatical Islamist groups to "belly up to the bar" and make an accounting. And Pakistan is equally poised to have a successful insurgency by extremists.
Since you didn't elaborate, I guess I'll draw you out with a two-word response:
It would be a great idea to start a real war over there again ,after all every other time that we have become involved militarily over there since the middle ages things have only gone swimmingly......
Ohhh wait, we have actually only ended up making things worse,far worse, but I am sure the umpteenth time is the charm.
I don't know Rocky...153rd time is a charm!