Do you think the US's involvement is leading to ISIS's decline, or is it something else?
The U.S is involved in both ways.
In Syria, they did so by giving support to ahem… “moderate” rebel groups who either belonged to Jihadist groups such as a Fatah al-Sham or Jaysh al-sham, this was in no way an effective way to stop terrorism. The fact that U.S was so obsessed with trying to keep Iran and Assad at bay with sanctions caused their hubris to indirectly lead to the financial contribution of DAESH, this was through the cooperation with the rebel groups who later became overrepresented by the Sunni Jihadists and later defected, either by how DAESH was increasing in territory or because they heeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s (l.a) call. Second, the terrorist groups are obviously supported by the Gulf states, and America is known to be one of the greatest funders to them in terms of arms and economic deals, this is why the extremist ideology of Wahhabism is being exported throughout the world. The keyword here is being “Wahhabism”.
In Iraq, the situation had a different outcome, the Americans, due to their unjustified invasion of Iraq, left an estranged religious community after they had left the nation and appointed a puppet leader in this “brave new democratic land of Iraq”, which led to an increased frequency of loyalists and sectarian attacks against the population, the Pentagon failed to issue the necessary orders for securing property. That led to widespread looting and a nearly instantaneous social breakdown in the absence of minimal security. The US probably didn’t create the IS in a direct or deliberate way, but its actions created the environment that led to the formation of ISIS/Daesh. Daesh was an organization that evolved in Camp Bucca in Iraq. This abusive prison was itself set up after the huge scandals at the much more abusive Abu Ghraib prison. Such prisons brought borderline psychopaths together with radical Sunni Jihadist nuts to produce a deadly combo who would lead the estranged laymen of that community.
Yes, the Americans are contributing by helping the nation for the damage they have done, yet at the cost of many civilian lives, and I will not buy the collateral damage/“war is war” excuse that some armchair generals will spout. Nevertheless, as long as America supports the gulf who is the sole contributor to almost every Jihadi terrorist organization that attacks the west, you ain’t gonna see a change.