While almost the whole world agrees that the defeat of ISIS can only be a good thing — it is still too premature at this juncture to claim success on this front. Like other revolutionary movements that took place from France to Russia to Cambodia, ISIS also made declarations about how it was going change entire societies for the better. But this is where the similarity ends. For the militant group has always maintained that any brutal measures to achieve this were justified given that it enjoyed divine support and, as such, success was but inevitable.Fortunately, this has not been the case. Not least perhaps due to the sheer amount of blood that ISIS has on its hands. There is nothing worse than seeing mutilated body after mutilated body, which appears to be its speciality. That the group has no political roots and remains absolutely removed from the political process — unlike other traditional guerrilla warfare movements — means that its downfall is imminent; or so believe analysts. And also unlike revolutionary movements, the entire world stands united on a single-point agenda: ISIS must be conquered at all costs.That the terror group found ‘safe-havens’ of sorts in both Iraq and Syria is not coincidental. Meaning that the US-led invasion of the former and the prolonged civil war in the latter have left both nations decimated in terms of functioning structures of governance, thereby providing a veritable breeding ground for extremist groups. Nowhere was this more evident than in Raqqa, the Syrian city that fell to ISIS control and was named its capital. Nevertheless, the sphere of influence it enjoyed there was rather short-lived. Its reliance on savagery as opposed to political engagement created the necessary breathing space to urgently unite nations that often find themselves on different ends of the geopolitical spectrum, such as the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the EU, Iran and Syria.Yet the jury is still somewhat out on whether the US, which naturally took the lead role when it came to such endeavours, has prevailed on this front. Be that as it may, there is no denying that Washington has managed to inflict considerable damage upon ISIS, especially in terms of forming alliances with local groups of the region. The US armed and trained these ‘rebels’ in addition to carrying out its own airstrikes. In addition, so relentless was this campaign that ISIS did not have the opportunity to provoke conflict between the West and the Arab world. Rather, Washington and its allies took the war directly to the extremists.The potential defeat of ISIS has paved the way for other nations to meddle in the Middle East. Also, we have the group to thank for the Assad regime prevailing. This is to say nothing of why the flushing out of terrorists must always incur such high human costsHowever, none of this would have been necessary had the US not waged its war of aggression in Iraq back in 2003. Thus the Americans are not doing the world a favour by trying to defeat ISIS today. The time has possibly come for Washington to rethink it foreign policy in terms of unfettered hegemonic ambitions. And while ISIS may be on the back-foot, at least temporarily, what it lacks in political ideology — it more than makes up for in modern weapons. It is worth recalling the old adage that contends there is nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose.Even if ISIS has been vanquished, there is, frankly, nothing to celebrate. Firstly, this has simply paved the way for other countries to meddle in the Middle East. Secondly, the emergence of ISIS afforded the gift of longevity to the Assad regime in Syria, not to mention to the Kurdish forces, too, that are involved in a standoff with Iraqi forces in the oil rich province of Kirkuk. Thirdly, the question remains as to why the hunt for such terrorist networks must always incur such high human costs in terms of civilian collateral damage, including fatalities, the internally displaced and those who find themselves refugees in hostile lands.This brings us to the question of who should get credit for ISIS being on the run: Donald Trump or his predecessor, Barrack Obama? It is worth recalling that while still hot on the campaign trail — Mr Trump was highly critical of the incumbent’s approach to terror. Yet he never changed that policy and today ISIS has lost both Mosul and Raqqa. Thus if anyone is to be credited it is Mr Obama. This is not to say that a resurgent ISIS cannot be ruled out, especially given the current volatile situation in the Middle East; which some experts say is being exacerbated by lack of institutional reform across the region. And lastly, the US can insist all it wants for taking credit for conquering a beast that it had a hand in creating. But this is no indication that it is on the right path in terms of foreign policy, which does not have as its overriding premise the restoration of peace and stability. Instead, Washington is driven by hegemonic ambitions that include controlling as much of the world’s natural resources as it can. Thus today the terrorist threat confronting those in the American homeland is lower than the grave insecurity faced by people around the world; those who comprise the so-called collateral damage at the hands of a US global leadership that prioritises the military-industrial complex above all else. The writer is a human rights and constitutional lawyerPublished in Daily Times, November 9th 2017.