They are just not in that league. Not only are they not a threat to the U.S., they are not a threat to any western country.
Not even close to the existential threats to life as the real-deal historical heavyweights: Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Soviet Union after WWII, and of course Napoleon Bonapart's early 19th century French behemoth. Or Ghengis Khan's Mongol hoards, and who could forget the Vikings and the Visigoths.....
Those guys back in their day were 800 pound gorillas. ISIS is the ukulele playing Tiny Tim trilling 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips" as compared to Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin belting out 'Whole Lotta Love.'
Sure, ISIS has complete mastery of today's social media and has a flair for the dramatic in posting videos of gruesome executions of their unfortunate captives. Those images foment great anguish and emotion from civilized societies, as well they should.
But nobody in the Western world, even Italy, can seriously believe that these ISIS guys are coming for them in any meaningful way. ISIS simply does not have the war making capability in either manpower or manufacturing to pose even a credible threat to any Western nation.
Back in the day, Ghengis Khan steamrolled over civilizations like crap through a goose, and kept those societies under control through reward and punishment: once conquered, the conquered populations were offered protection, governance and order (they called it 'peace' back then) if they simply supported Ghengis' efforts (crushing others), and not causing trouble. If the conquered populations or any portion thereof got uppity, then hell would rain down on everyone. And nobody wanted that. And that kind of deal that Ghengis offered worked out for everyone. To a point.
Ditto this arrangement for every other heavy hitter throughout history. But this is not the vision of ISIS. They are great at stomping on backward, goat herding Bedouin societies, where the leaders of society are not all that different from the marauding Sunni Muslim ISIS zealots themselves. The populations that are now under ISIS control have always been under similar restrictions: women wear hijab/bhurkas, can't drive, can't vote, can't say boo. Men in these ISIS controlled areas have always been under similar freedoms: they call all the shots in society, make all the rules, and are basically murdering scumbag bullies since the dawn of time.
ISIS can never sustain a war machine. Their theology eschews the promotion and nurturing of a manufacturing society so necessary in creating a viable war machine capable of capturing and maintaining territory. They have obtained their military equipment by simply picking weapons up off the ground where they were tossed by a fleeing Iraqi and Syrian Bedouin population. That kind of armament philosophy is clearly unsustainable. They can never maintain the war production necessary to pose a threat to any medium-level Western system, such as in pro-Western Jordan, for example. Or pro-Western Turkey. Yes, these are awfully iffy pro-Western countries, but they will in all likelihood remain affiliated with the West when push comes to shove.
Let's just face facts: ISIS is great at grabbing headlines, and is a perfect fit for the poster boy bad guy in the world. But as an existential threat to America? Not even close.
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