For over a year, ISIS has been causing havoc throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It controls various parts of Iraq and Syria. ISIS has also made its presence felt in other countries, including Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and Yemen. It has affiliated itself with other Islamic terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda (which it pledged its loyalty to) and Boko Haram.
ISIS is practically the equivalent of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda combined. It is a terrorist group, and it seeks to take control of Iraq and Syria, hence its name- Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Its other names consist of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham, and the Islamic State.
Needless to say, ISIS wants to establish a sharia state within the region. And it is willing to resort to any and all sorts or brutality when it comes to enforcing sharia law or dealing with prisoners of war. And they appear to have outdone the Taliban when it comes to brutality. Examples include setting a captured Jordanian fighter pilot on fire, the beheading of various hostages, drowning suspected spies by putting them into a cage and lowering the cage into a swimming pool (and using an underwater camera to film their deaths), locking a group of captives into a car and then firing at the car with a grenade launcher, and blowing up a group of suspected criminals by means of explosive cables placed around their necks.
ISIS has made it tough for the Muslims living in their midst, but they are persecuting Christians, perhaps in a more aggressive manner than other Islamists. Christians falling into the hands of ISIS are either killed or sold into slavery. Pretty soon the Christian population in Iraq will be zero. Other groups persecuted by ISIS include the Druze and Yazidis.
Despite all the brutality, the Obama Administration has done little to come up with an effective method in defeating ISIS, especially since this is the same administration responsible for the withdrawal from Iraq. And whereas the policy of the United States Government was not to negotiate with terrorists (in this case not paying ransom for Americans held captive, which extends to the families of American captives), the Obama Administration is now loosening the policy. Such a change in policy could be disastrous. Whereas it might result in the hostages being released, it sends a message to terrorists that America will give in to their demands. In addition, the money paid would be used to fund terrorist activities.
Thus, the only effective solution is to rescue the hostages instead of paying any ransom, and put boots on the ground to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is not willing to do that. Perhaps the next administration will be bolder in confronting ISIS.