Patrick Cockburn looks at the non-state forces in the region, who they are backed by, the motives of those backers. and the sectarian desires of the jihadis.
[The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the Failures of the Global War on Terror by Patrick Cockburn (October 2014: OR Books); Paperback; 150 pp.; $15.00.]
The sense of déjà vu in Iraq is not imaginary. With U.S. bombers attacking positions held by Sunni militants and a client Iraqi government apparently unable to fight on its own, the detritus of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is creating what could end up being the third phase of direct U.S. involvement in at the bloody sinkhole it did plenty to create.
The air strikes and special operations undertaken by the U.S. have a greater likelihood of dragging the U.S. further into this war than they do of furthering a long term solution. The Islamic State (IS or ISIL) fighters are the progeny of Washington’s bloody mischief in the region. They are even using weapons provided by the CIA to rebel forces in Syria, of which IS is but one element. Like Afghanistan’s Taliban in 2003, IS could very likely gain strength once U.S. forces engage its fighters.