Monday August 10, 2015
Three of the US national government’s self-imposed and surely lethal handicaps in dealing with the Islamist threat are (a) a fixation on looking at the problem in a state-by-state manner; that is, what do we do in Iraq? what do we do in Afghanistan? what do we do in Libya? etc.; (b) an enduring but long-disproved assumption that in its war with Islam the West has time its side; and (c) an addiction to an unwise, unnecessary, and bankrupting interventionism that is the main motivator of the international Islamist movement, a phenomenon which was fathered and is still nurtured by the West’s so-called “allies and friends,” Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.
By forming and implementing interventionist policies for each nation-state where an Islamist threat is identified as needing to be addressed, Washington and its NATO allies miss the point that their main Islamist enemies — the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, and especially the former – think in a regional manner and then design and execute policies meant to establish bases from which they can further expand in a way that advances their ultimate goal of driving the West from the Muslim world and creating an unitary and worldwide Islamic state or caliphate. Whether or not such a state can be created is an open question, but for the time being the subject can be left for academics to endlessly, theoretically, and inconclusively debate, thereby leaving the sane to try to defend the United States.
What is important, at the moment, lies in the quite inexplicable inability of US and NATO policymakers to see what the Islamic State is up to in terms of its regional planning, or how that planning is not only immune to but fueled by the relentless, seriatim intervention of the West in each Muslim country that displeases it – excepting, of course, the Muslim tyrannies the West fawns over, protects, and is bribed by. (NB: This is not to argue that a multi-Muslim-nation intervention by US-NATO forces is needed.