The Advisor knew the president wanted to talk about domestic policies on his next visit and that would be easy for him. He knew what the president wanted and how he was going about it. The president’s only problem with his domestic policies is that he is running out of time and losing influence in his party, he thought. If you follow the news reports and are intelligent and skeptical enough to read between the lines, it is apparent the president, who is a political genius in the tactic of changing direction and misdirection, is turning to things he can do with or without Congress.
Hence the turn to ISIS, or ISIL, as the president prefers as it enables him to continue denying that the foundation for a radical Muslim state is already in place. The president’s basic plan will remain the same, even if the words change. His policy is to avoid the use of American military or economic power to achieve nationalistic objectives. In his mind, the world has seen enough of American dominance through capitalism and the use of military power to intervene in world events. The president seems to believe that his one great foreign policy or international accomplishment is in the prevention of American power to solve international problems. Like no other leader, foreign or American, he has driven the U.S. out of the Middle East. The remaining bastions of Western presence in the Middle East will gradually dry up and wither away, much like the last castle strongholds of the Crusaders. The president believes a progressive new world order will emerge to create a better life for all the victims of colonialism and racism. This much he has said right to my face in this very room.
The Advisor paused his musings long enough to pour himself a fresh cup of Sumatra roast coffee and sit back down at his desk. He took a long sniff of the fresh brew and sat back in his chair, the mug warm against his hand.
The president is not a dumb man but neither is he a wise one. His strength comes from his deep commitment to the redistribution of wealth and the destruction of American world dominance. His new strategy for ISIS will not be new. Just different words. Nothing in his new strategy will adjust to ground-truth reality, but it will avoid even the slightest offense to Iran. The president knows what many of the Pentagon’s analysts have said, but he has no intentions of following any of their advice.
It is clear many foreign policy and military analysts know how ISIS can be controlled. First, Western statesman have to recognize that the Western creation of Iraq after the fall of the Turkish Empire has failed. Iraq has always been an artificial state held together by vicious and cruel dictatorial leaders. Keeping the Kurds and Iraqi Sunnis individually weak pleased two Western Cold War allies, Turkey and Iran under the Shah. Even today, neither Turkey nor Iran want to see the United States arm and support either the Kurds or the Sunnis. But any American foreign policy that fails to arm and aid the Kurds and Sunnis will fail. The world has changed. Iran is now a deadly enemy and Turkey is becoming more and more driven by a radical Islamic fervor. Both of these old allies fear the establishment on their borders of a Sunni Caliphate made up of major parts of Iraq and Syria .
Rather than arm the Kurds and Sunnis with effective weapons, so far military aid to either of them has been in the form of words, the president will be guided by Iran and Russia’s alliance with Iran and not by what is in America’s interests. Give up on Iraq as a viable nation. Forget about bringing Iran into the family of nations. Let the Kurds and Sunni tribes establish their own borders. Employ American air power at several times the current level and deploy 10,000 combat and support troops. By combining these changes with a real effort to arm the Kurds and move the Sunni tribes away from ISIS by immediate military and economic support could still be successful, but the president would have to turn his back on Iran and follow American strategic goals. That he will not do.
The Advisor shook his head and sighed heavily, then took a long sip from his mug. If only the president would listen, he thought.
The above is a fictional account of the writing of a legendary but fictional Advisor.
“ISIS: Quiet Justice,” a new Jack Brandon novel by Barry Kelly dealing with ISIS in America, is now available from your local book store, This is the fifth novel in the “Justice”series. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.