- - Monday, September 22, 2014

Any credible Islamic jihadist threat to the United States in the Middle East can be prevented or destroyed without our direct participation in any battles.

The multiplicity of Islamic factions and rivalries should be exploited by the CIA to foment endless internecine warfare among and between Sunnis and Shiites. Post-Gaddafi Libya and the implacable animosity between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority shows little is needed to provoke such intramural mayhem within radical Islam.

Their leaders generally covet personal power, fame, wealth and women more than religious purity or consistency. Through infiltration, covert action, or otherwise, the CIA should plant and fuel the seeds of suspicion among Islamic leaders to spark endless intramural wars along the lines of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran conflict. It depleted or exhausted the military resources of both Islamic nations without endangering the United States.

Never have the splintered divisions of Islam been riper for CIA exploitation. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is at war with al Qaeda. Last year gave birth to a new group in Syria — Khorasan — headed by Muhsin al-Fadhli. Then there is the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s designated affiliate in Syria, and the Alawite Shiite sect lead by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Iraq’s Shiites are split between a Shiite prime minister and multiple Shiite militia leaders, including cleric Moktada al-Sadr. Iraq’s multiple Sunni leade — including strongmen for former dictator Saddam Hussein — find common ground only in opposition to Iraq’s Shiite rulers. Sunni persecution by Shiites have caused some to join forces with ISIS — an Islamic version of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact that ignited World War II.

Iraqi Kurds crave independence, and are distrusted by both Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites. And Iraqi Kurds themselves are bitterly divided between the Barzani and Talabani factions.

Turkey, a Sunni Muslim state, worries that strengthening Iraq’s Kurds could boost the fortunes of Kurds seeking independence in Turkey’s southeast. Turkey’s opposition to ISIS is irresolute because it is even more opposed to Syria’s Alawite ruler Bashar al-Assad, who would benefit from ISIS’ destruction.
Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf Sunni statelets chronically aid and abet radical Sunni leaders because they perceive Shiites as more of an existential threat. Their leaders would stab Islamic rivals in the back to retain their absolute power.

With a modicum of human intelligence and money, the CIA should be able to set radical Islam ablaze in self-ruinous warfare in Iraq, Syria and otherwise. The only thing that could defeat such a victory for American safety and security is the presence or use of U.S. military forces in the region. U.S. troops would unify radical Islam and create a motive to attack us, i.e., self-defense.

President Obama needs to rethink his war against ISIS.

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