Wednesday September 9, 2015
By the logic of geopolitics, the United States and Iran ought to be cooperating to contain and weaken the Islamic State (IS). Both countries have declared that the group is a very serious threat to their own security and to the security of the entire Middle East.
Indeed, it has become evident to all - besides those who are determined for their own reasons not to see it - that the army intent on setting up an Islamic caliphate has the potential to dissolve the basic international order that has governed the Middle East for a century. So the logic of Iran-US strategic cooperation against Daesh (as the IS group is referred to in Arabic) is no less compelling than was the logic of the Nixon administration in reaching an understanding with Maoist China to counter-balance their common Soviet adversary.
But that logical development isn’t happening, contrary to the fears of some and hopes of others, and it isn’t likely to happen any time soon, despite the nuclear agreement and the Obama administration’s success in beating back the unprecedented campaign by the Israel lobby to defeat it. The reason is that it is not the logic of geopolitics, in the end, that is governing the problem.