Monday, February 22, 2016

Failure of the War on Terror

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where David Kilcullen, is speaking about his book "Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror". He started with the bold claim that the US invasion of Iraq was as a strategic mistake as Hitler's invasion of the USSR. He argues that the invasion created ISIS. The USA then failed to take the opportunity with the disarray on the death of Osama bin Laden, to eliminate
al-Qaeda. With the failure of the
Arab Spring and reintroduction of autocratic governments, liberation movements were required to turn to
al-Qaeda. Similarly the withdrawal of the US forces from Iraq removed curbs on the government and forced opponents into the hands of al-Qaeda. Kilcullen argued that the USA's having  Russia assist in the removal of Syria's chemical weapon emboldened Russia to later intervene militarily. The intervention of Iran then caused problems for countries in the region who see this as much of a threat as ISIS.

Kilcullen then attributed the introduction of a transit visa by
Republic of Macedonia, and call-up of Syrians for military service, causing the refugee influx to Europe. He does not seem to see this as a military threat to Europe, just something which has finally got the attention of European government about Syria.

I asked if a US "President Trump" would understand how to take a patient long term approach to building democratic structures in middle eastern countries, Kilcullen commented that he was more worried about a President Cruz or Clinton.

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