Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fixing The Middle East


For John, BLUFMatching Objectives, Threats and Opportunities, in a Resource limited environment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Writing from Des Moines, Iowa, Reporter Rick Klein, gives us "Analysis: Debate Reveals Democratic Uncertainties on Foreign Policy".

Bernie Sanders again cited the Iraq war – which Clinton supported, and Sanders opposed – as a key reason for ISIS’ rise, and as a lesson for how to confront the threats.
Frankly, Senator Sanders does not have the big picture here.  We are seeing a contest within Islam and it has many facets.  Senator Sanders has a two dimensional view of a three dimensional problem.

The first thing to keep in mind is that in the Middle East the consequences of First World War, "The Great War", are still not fully worked out.  And, the idea of fixed borders was foreign to the former Ottoman Empire.  And probably are, today, to Daesh.

The idea that Daesh is the result of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 is to miss the turmoil that has been ongoing in the Middle East for some time.  The strong men dictators have kept it under control, but it has been there.  For example, there is the 1964 book by Sayyid Qutb, Milestones.  In the book Mr Qutb calls for a rebirth of Islam.  Then there is Wahhabism, out of Saudi Arabia, with its desire to return to what it believes is early Islam.  And, don't forget we have the apocalyptic Shia clerics in Iran, who believe these are the end of times.

Another thought.  If we are going to blame Iraq, and the turmoil therein on President George W Bush, should we not blame the turmoil in Libya, the presence of Daesh, on Secretary of State Clinton?

As we contemplate the future we have the proposal from the former French President, Nicholas Sarkozy—team up with Russia.

But, what will Russia want in exchange?  Protection of Syria's Assad?  A private agreement to give Russia its way in Ukraine?  A private agreement to give Russia its way with Poland and the Baltics?  There is no free lunch.

Then there is Turkey and the Kurds.  Do we support the legitimate aspirations of the Kurds, or do we support the Turkish desire for national integrity?  Do we need bases in Turkey?  Will we sell out the Kurds to get them?

Finally, is anyone prepared to confront the King of Saudi Arabia about the role his Kingdom has played in the ongoing use of terrorism to establish the new Caliphate?

A good strategy is hard to find.  Suitable.  Feasible.  Acceptable.

Regards  —  Cliff

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