A convergence of Chinese, Russian, European, and US interest in stopping transnational jihadists that are targeting soft targets around the world has begun. I predict that, if these four world powers can remain relatively at peace with one another, these four great powers will converge to destroy and clamp down on radical Islamic groups that seek to export their ideology and their targeting of the rest of the world’s soft targets. The US and European democracies, with little stomach for the harsh tactics and brutality of asymmetrical warfare on a large scale, will continue to secretly wage war, and the dictatorships of China and Russia will begin/continue fight without much restraint. Dictatorships of the Middle East will be restored to regions of Syria, Iraq, and perhaps Afghanistan. Iraq has become a puppet to larger powers like Iran and the US. Afghanistan has become a puppet of the US, China, or the Taliban. Assad may well be restored to power. Groups that seek peace with the four great powers, and help fight radical Islam, like the Kurds, will be rewarded with autonomy and a share of oil revenue in parts of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS has turned radical Islam against the world, but sadly for them, it will only be an apocalypse that is brought down upon them. The wheels of war are turning, and as ISIS continues to hit at various soft targets around the world, the tectonic shifts necessary for the four great world powers to stop planning on destroying each other has begun. Faced with a very annoying and determined enemy: DAESH or ISIS, the world has begun to do something I never really thought possible. They are uniting against a common enemy; ISIS will face either complete destruction or unconditional surrender. This process may take another decade, but I suspect that DAESH/ISIS will end up like the Tamil Tigers. They hid among civilians and in the rough terrain, but eventually they were all hunted down and forced to fight or surrender. The next group that attempts to pull off an epic crime spree on the scale that ISIS pulled off, will face a much faster reaction from the international community. I think these alliances will remain tentative and temporary, but the good news is that if the world faced an even greater existential threat from within or without, perhaps they will have learned how to work together just a little better than yesterday.