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Geopolitics makes strange bedfellows

July 3, 2014

The steady success of ISIL in carving out a secure territory in Syria and Iraq is upsetting some old geopolitical equations.  Iran, seen by some as the likely “savior” of Iraq (or, at least, of its current government), is lobbing threats at the Kurds.  Turkey, meanwhile, long fearful of a Kurdish state, now considers embracing an independent Kurdistan to serve as a buffer against Iraqi violence and Iranian power.   The offshore power broker – the US – does not know what to do, because what might turn out to the best choice is also unthinkable:  Iran is currently the greatest threat to American interests in the region, and the force most likely to take the fight to the Iranians and to halt their geostrategic progress is, in fact, ISIL.  ISIL is closely (if complexly) affiliated with the al Qaeda organization with which the US has been at war since 9/11/2001 (and, arguably, for much of the decade prior to that as well).  It would be a nearly impossible sell to the American public – especially to the veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for the last decade and a half – but at some point it may well be in America’s best interest to throw its support behind ISIL in order to thwart Iran.

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