by A briefing by Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and a former official in the U.S. departments of State and Defense, briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call on June 16, 2014.
The implications of the fall of the key city of Mosul to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a designated terror group, can be understood in three ways:
- Iranian influence over the Iraqi government: Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's oppression of Sunnis set the stage for the vastly outnumbered ISIS militia to take Mosul with little resistance from Iraqi government forces, bringing the Sunni-Shiite conflict to a new height.
- Dissolution of the modern Middle Eastern political order: The post-WWI European-created Middle Eastern system based on territorial states has been transformed into a regional battlefield with national governments controlling only portions of their territories.
- Limits of U.S. influence and defeat of American policy: The folly of George W. Bush's campaign to remake the Middle East is now fully exposed as the U.S. failed to invest the time and effort necessary to solidify its gains prior to the 2011 withdrawal.
Until that happens, America should channel its energies to remedying the humanitarian disaster occasioned by the Arab upheavals and to diminishing the flow of arms from Turkey, Russia, Iran, and China. This may help turn the upheavals' tragic short-term consequences to a catalyst for a long term regional transformation.
Summary account by Marilyn Stern, Associate Fellow with the Middle East Forum.
A briefing by Daniel Pipes
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