Potential Repercussions in the Wake of Slain Journalist

VasquezThe release of a video showing the murder of American journalist and former UCF student Steven Sotloff has demanded attention globally. The murder of Steven Sotloff was a response to the US’s continued airstrikes on ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

“In the long run the attention they may be getting may not be the kind attention they desire. If history is a lesson, it is likely to provoke a counter reaction that they are not prepared militarily to deal with,” stated Dr. Paul Vasquez, a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at UCF.  Dr. Vasquez, who specializes in international relations related to military institutions, told Brendan Byrne of WMFE Public Radio (90.7) that ISIS forces will likely provoke a formidable international response.

Even before this second American journalist was killed by ISIS forces, evidence of the growing seriousness with which ISIS is being addressed was evident in various respects, including increased pressure on ISIS both on the ground and from the air.  For example, prior to stepping down in favor of a leader who could possibly do a better job of undermining support for ISIS, former Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki’s government was reported by one U.S. official to have started providing “unprecedented” support to Kurdish fighters in Iraq resisting ISIS forces.

As for the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported 120 U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in August with the Obama administration considering expanding those strikes into Syrian territory. Internationally, the German government also took a unique step by promising to provide military support to Kurds resisting ISIS, and there are reports that Iran’s government is also concerned about a growing threat from ISIS that could promote future cooperation.

For more information, an excerpt from the interview can be found here.

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