Thursday, September 18, 2014

True Allies

As the United States furthers its attacks on the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), many nations seem to be allied in the fight – nations not usually thought of as American partners. Writing at The Times of Israel’s blog, Ari Ingel warns that these “allies” are only using the U.S. for their own interests, and that Israel is America’s only true ally:
For all the hoopla that America has a coalition ready to do battle, privately, all of these countries are acting more in their own self-interest than supporting America in this fight.
While Saudi Arabia may help train and funnel some weapons to the Free Syrian Army, numerous wealthy Saudi families provide funding to ISIS and other Islamic Fundamentalist groups in Syria and Iraq. Many young Saudi men are also flooding to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of ISIS.  These are the same sort of men that took down the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who will be fighting against America in the Levant. 
Qatar is currently engulfed in a political war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt for influence in the region and view everything they do through this lens. They have also been one of the biggest sponsors of Islamic Fundamentalism in the region, funneling money and support to various groups. Remember, they are the only country in the region where the Taliban are welcome and essentially have an embassy.
In Iraq, the Shiite rulers are using America’s muscle to once again help defeat their former Sunni rulers and are much more closely aligned with Iran, Assad’s regime in Syria and Hezbollah, than America.  Meanwhile, Hezbollah, who essentially controls Lebanon, will turn their guns on America like they did in the Marine barracks bombing in 1983, as soon as they have a chance.
Turkey on the other hand has openly rebuffed America’s invitation to join their coalition. The Islamification and dictatorial rule of Turkey continues to grow under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s borders remain the major entry point for radical Sunni fighters fighting in Syria and Iraq, as Turkey works to counter both Kurdish and Shia power in those countries. Turkey was also a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and is currently no friend to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Don’t be confused; this is not George H.W. Bush’s coalition from the first Gulf War, but rather an imagined alignment of competing interests who all distrust the “Great Satan” and are using American muscle only so far as it suites their own national interests …
Israel on the other hand, will once again be America’s only true ally in the region and remains the only country in the region that shares America’s values. Israel probably has better intelligence on what is going on in Syria than any other country and will be counted on greatly behind the scenes in this battle against ISIS. Israel also has supplied military equipment and training to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces currently fighting ISIS in Iraq and has even stated that they will come to Jordan’s defense in the event ISIS decides to expand the battlefield there. America will also undoubtedly have to employ many of the same tactics Israel just used in Gaza, as ISIS is heavily embedded into the civilian populations of both Iraq and Syria. For some reason I doubt we will see the same media storm in the West when America is on the attack, although you better bet ISIS will try to exploit these attacks as a major recruitment tool...
The defeat of ISIS is also only just the beginning. Once defeated, the questions of how to achieve peace in Syria, Iraq and beyond will still have to be tackled, in addition to dealing with the thousands of European and American jihadist fighters returning to their home countries to cause chaos. To do that, it will take a true coalition.

1 comment:

  1. Does America not realize that these countries are "using American muscle only so far as it suites their own national interests," or does America not care? It boggles the mind, and is a sad commentary on how far gone the country is.