by William Teach | November 5, 2017 9:32 am
Well, no, of course they did not write that. But, reading between the lines in this Editorial Board piece we can see that Obama was a failure while Trump has done a good job in knocking down ISIS. Of course, they attempt to put the burden on Trump, while, if we look back to 2009-2012, they were happy with the “inherited problem” meme
After ISIS, What’s Next?
The liberation of Raqqa, Syria, the Islamic State’s final stronghold, has severely weakened the group as a military threat. But as its members slink off the battlefield to melt into local populations or infiltrate nations in Europe, Africa and around the world, they leave a region in ruins and an almost impossible challenge for the United States.
Over four gruesome years, ISIS swallowed up large areas of Iraq and Syria, taking control of oil fields and using beheadings, rapes and other cruelties to terrorize populations. Now, the degradation of the group has allowed Iran, Russia and others to scramble for advantage. The anti-ISIS coalition is fracturing, reviving divisions and creating conditions that could allow the extremists to regroup. And American leaders seem to have no clear plan to manage this instability or to capitalize on their military success.
ISIS swallowed up those areas while Obama was President. The main degradation occurred in spite of Obama and due to Trump since he took office. Really, Obama isn’t even mentioned in this piece. Despite emboldening ISIS with his wishy washyness and foolish Libyan adventure.
One big concern is the semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, which until recently was Iraq’s anchor. Today its future, and that of a unified Iraq, is in doubt. That’s because of an independence referendum in September that was pushed through by Masoud Barzani, then the Kurdish leader, despite warnings from Iraq’s central government, Turkey, Iran and the United States — the Kurds’ main ally — that the vote could lead to Iraq’s dissolution, undermine the anti-ISIS fight and widen divisions even among Kurdish factions.
Interesting. The NYTEB seems against liberation. Well, they do provide some reasoning along pragmatic lines. We also learn that Sec State Rex Tillerson and his people have done a great job in soothing the tensions between Iraq and the Kurds. Must have hurt to admit that. We also learn of the vastly greater power and influence that Iran and Russia grew in the region, which of course they blame mostly on the Iraq war, forgetting Obama’s fecklessness when it came to Syria and Iraq.
Given Mr. Trump’s America First vision, it is unclear how he will respond to such complex challenges. His distaste for nation building, with its implication of a long-term commitment, is understandable. The United States has tried nation building in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places with little success and should not assume the main burden now. But leaving Iraq and Syria without a recovery plan — one that encompasses reconstruction, security and improved governance — will create conditions for ISIS’s return.
Seems like some blamestorming (lower case b) towards Trump, without mentioning the mess he inherited from Obama. Weird, right?
Having decimated ISIS, the United States and its partners in the anti-ISIS campaign must turn to finding and constraining the militants who have dispersed from their failed caliphate and persuading the Mideast’s overwhelmingly youthful population that the future lies not with extremists but with people who free them to dream and achieve.
Do you know what would have helped? Supporting the Iranian Green Revolution and the Arab Spring. It is interesting that the NYTEB mentions the growing problem of Islamic extremists without actually mentioning, you know, Islam. Also interesting, they offer no ideas or solutions for both this issue and for Iraq and Syria, just some blathering.
It would have been nice had the NYTEB given Trump and his team some actual kudos for what they’ve done to ISIS after Obama sat back and watched the “JV team” rise.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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