The Political Challenge That is Iraq
By any stretch, the last eight years was a disaster for U.S. Mesopotamian regional policy. Being handed a win in 2008, the Obama administration felt that its own ideological preference for appeasement was ratified, even though that policy sentiment was never fielded to the American public for exposure. Having plowed ahead without ever seeking approval, team Obama’s idealism erased the blood and treasure sunk into Iraq procuring fragile yet definitive national unity leading up to 2008. With Anbar province secure, Iraq’s three main divisions of Sunni, Shia and indigenous minorities felt secure by American suzerainty. But it never lasted.
It has been said that the most difficult terrain for any wartime executive is the management of alliances. True enough, but American progressive leadership under team Obama thwarted reality until it buckled. Having shielded both the American public and his own political domestic coalition, Obama sought cheap wins, and he got them with drones, contractors and special operators. It barely did the job, but that’s all team Obama ever wanted. Eight years of non-existent leadership has wrought numerous crisis’ worthy of our best efforts. This time though, U.S. leadership may have no winning hand to procure. Strengthening our threat deterrents maybe our only effort in Mesopotamia.
Iraq was always marked by extreme social, ideological, theological divisions. What the Obama administration’s policy did was exacerbate each aggregate harnessing the Iraqi political economy. Emerging splits between varying dominant social, ethnic, even theological camps is bewildering Tehran.
What the American progressive left handed Mesopotamia was a gratuitous opportunity harnessed by Iran. Moving west in a concentric movement enveloping everything, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has sought imposition of its writ all the way to the eastern Mediterranean. A gift Tehran recognized and moved quickly to consummate. Having enveloped its arch rivals of Riyadh and Jerusalem, the Iranians arch of history extends well into South-Central America, the Balkans and most of Mesopotamia.
Now comes the hard part. Governing. Iraq today is splintering in ways difficult for U.S. war planners to engage. Having witnessed collapsing U.S. deterrence for nearly a decade, Iraqi ethnic groups have openly sought to counter Tehran. What we’re witnessing is the opening salvo of civil war. The geopolitical gains of Anbar have no currency anymore. To get a game changer, the American’s need to do what they’ve always sought to evade: openly confront Iranian theocrats.
Churchill once remarked that the funny thing about the American’s is that they’ll try everything first; then they’ll do what needs to get done. We’re at that place now.
The fracturing of Mesopotamia cannot be favorably resolved without eliminating Iran.
The ugly truth is this: we’re only going to build requisite alliances when we take off the glove and begin unleashing HELL upon Iran. Short of that, they’ll grind us up.
The American’s have near permanent allies throughout the region. But Kurds, Israeli’s, Sunni’s and others too numerous to mention are waiting; measuring the American hand.
Let’s not keep them waiting any longer.
Next stop: Pyongyang and Tehran.
Originally published on William Holland’s blog.
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