Over the months when IS was first showing its oats in Mosul more than a year ago, this Committee of Correspondence had a lively discussion over the participation of the Anbar tribes as supporters of IS. Some focused on the leaders of the tribes, one of whom was Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, head of the Dulaim Tribe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Hatem_al-Suleiman
IBT reports that just before the takeover of Ramadi, the leaders of the Anbar tribes arranged for the arrival of a large supply of weapons for IS. The Anbar tribes are now voting for IS with their means and men. The evidence is that IS has a strong contingent of local tribal support who want to have control of their own domain, free of the Shia. http://www.ibtimes.com/sunni-tribesmen-helped-isis-take-control-ramadi-leaders-say-1934441
Observers can easily conclude the reality is that IS has been birthed as a new, nationalist country. If so, should it be treated as a state and not as a non-state actor terrorist group? IS apparently has substantial loyalty and support from the inhabitants of Anbar that are now forming an identity as a People and not as an imposition from the outside. Once a People form an identity, the whole game changes irrevocably.
To a large degree, the identity of the Sunni as a nationalist People clinches the success of IS as a state, but this success is not without consequences. No longer can the nationalist People be reformed back into Iraq, even by fair treatment or coercion. It seems that the a substantial portion of the inhabitants of Anbar and the IS controlled parts of Syria are now or beginning to be IS nationals.
This actual reality necessitates a complete change in the manner the IS is opposed. If the People of IS are IS, then, no longer are they victims who must be saved-they are culpable participants. IS nationalists will never accept reintegration into Iraq, not matter how constituted. To beat IS, its People must be conquered in the same way as the Germans or Japanese were. We have not yet acknowledged that reality has moved from a non-state actor paradigm to a contest of states versus states.
Similarly, if IS is an enemy nation state, then supporting it in arms is treasonous for nationals of the states at war with it instead of such support just being a crime. Iraq can treat IS as a secessionist enemy. Other nations may take sides. ISs boundaries will be set by struggles with it neighbors.
Acknowledging the “statehood” of IS greatly clarifies the scope of the conflict and its nature. Recognition may ultimately provide a context for a peace process. Declaring IS a nation-state will enable relations with it by treaty and negotiations. Recognition will force IS to expose its leaders and diplomats. We know how to deal with a state while we have not yet really figured out how to deal with a whatchamacallit like IS is now. Naming IS a state will give the world a language tool to use in dealing with it.
In newspeak, the evidence is that the "self-described Islamic State" is no longer "self-described" a state, it is a state, and we should treat it thus--as an enemy state. There is much to be gained by granting the monster state status.
Why not give IS the status of statehood it claims and see what happens?