Friday 20 March 2015

Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq

This analysis by General Petraeus, who  took charge of the US 'surge' in Iraq, is worth taking the time to read. He says, inter alia,

I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran. 

....I am also profoundly worried about the continuing meltdown of Syria, which is a geopolitical Chernobyl. Until it is capped, it is going to continue to spew radioactive instability and extremist ideology over the entire region.

I don't quite understand why General Petraeus fears the Shia militias and Iran more than IS or ISIS, since once it was decided to remove Saddam it was inevitable that Iraq would be Iraq's satellite. 

Perhaps we should leave Iraq to Iran to sort out, possibly with the help of Russia?

Had we not toppled Gaddafi would Assad have contained and defeated the Syrian rebels? I wonder. But that is in the past. 

As AJP Taylor said, we learn from the mistakes of the past how to make new mistakes.


  1. "...once it was decided to remove Saddam it was inevitable that Iraq would be Iran's [sic] satellite."
    I don't believe that was the neo-con expectation at the time. I think they hoped that a democratic renaissance in Iraq would inspire Iranians to topple the mullahs and that statues of George Bush (there we go again) would be erected in the capitals of both countries.

    1. Then they were very great fools indeed, but we knew that. Liberalism and naivety are the terrible problems in American foreign policy. The American liberals and neo-cons though ex Marxists are Wilsonian liberals do not understand religious and ethnic divisions. So many people don't these days - do they read no history or even the newspapers?

  2. The real problem is the rebel colonists' inability to pick decent proxy rulers. Something which has been true for decades. For those with imperial ambitions they have proved disastrous imperialists

  3. The dynamic is being driven by Saudi fear and Iranian ambition. The apostates in Persia dominated the region for millennia; now Arabia has the upper hand. But for how long?