Arlington, VA February 11, 2016
There is a lot of talk around the conference tables about a true coalition, led by an Arab Army--something really needed to defeat ISIS. Coalitions of the past, led by the United States were effective against al-Qaeda, but ISIS is something completely different. These are true revolutionaries, not insurgents, and they respect nothing,not even their own supposed religious heritage. Instead, they use that heritage as a mean for recruitment, while they savage even their own adherents to gain ground and power. That is not religion, that is terrorism at its prime.
However, the question still remains--can a Pan-Arab Army be formed from among the myriad states in the Middle East that will move to combat ISIS?
An article in Eurasia Review says it is not possible, and this article is from the Iranian Shi'ite perspective. After all, Iran would need to be involved; its Army and Revolutionary Guards are among the world's best fighters, and they have the means, if not the will, combat this basic Islamic evil. Javad Heirannia of the The Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran discusses the issue from the Shi'ite perspective and the possibilities here. His premise is that the majority of the fighting would be done by Sunni's--Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and even that is subject to speculation. The rest of the nations in the region would provide mostly funding.
In his assessment he points out many of the political and religious arguments against such an army, and its probable eventual failure from the difficulties facing it. While I hasten to suggest that his analysis be taken with the proverbial 'grain of salt' since it is basically one-sided, many of his observations are based reality. Religion counts in that part of the world.
An interesting read, nonetheless, and one which might give some perspective to the difficulties in organizing such a force. You can read it here.