Pope Francis has made public his thoughts on the action necessary to counter Islamic State.
Speaking to Vatican Radio after his return from a visit to the EU parliament in Strasburg, he said:
I never say all is lost, never. Maybe there cannot be a dialogue but you can never shut a door. It is difficult, one could say almost impossible, but the door is always open.
Responding to a question about whether or not it would be possible to communicate with rather than fight the militants, the Pope said:
I repeat what I have said: when you want to stop an unjust oppressor, you must do so with international consensus.
Since dialogue is realistically impossible – only an international consensus expressed in a Security Council resolution under Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter can achieve the Pope’s clearly enunciated position.
So far two Security Council Resolutions have been passed – Resolution 2170 adopted on 15 August and Resolution 2178 adopted on 24 September.
These two Resolutions were passed under the provisions of Article 41 of the UN Charter:
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
Neither Resolution has acted as a brake to stop Islamic State in its tracks – let alone bring about its downfall.
An American led coalition has undertaken military intervention in Syria and Iraq to degrade and destroy Islamic State but its objectives have not succeeded by any stretch of the imagination.
The State Department has announced that over 60 coalition partners have committed themselves to the goals of eliminating the threat posed by Islamic State and had already contributed in various capacities to the effort to combat Islamic State in Iraq, the region and beyond.
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