Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

ISIL crisis: Everyone's a winner

3 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Last updated: 23 Sep 2014 11:23
James Denselow

For Iraq, the fight against ISIL is a chance for the new prime minister, Haider al-Abbadi, to deliver a genuine and legitimate national unity government that brings Iraqis together rather than forcing them apart on the basis of sect or ethnicity. With the might of US air power, logistics and intelligence behind him, Abbadi will have the chance to fashion a vision of Iraq for all Iraqis that balances a traditional Baghdad-centric nationalism with the realities of federal demands from across the country and in particular from the Kurds and the Sunnis. Resource sharing, political recognition, and national reconciliation are the priorities for Abbadi with the threat of ISIL attacks being used as a common enemy going forward.

The Kurds have got their way with the US promising military support to the Peshmerga and green lighting the more assertive Kurdish voices within Baghdad's political infrastructure. ISIL has already allowed the Kurds to seize Kirkuk, the "Kurdish Jerusalem", and could now help them both increase the strength of their military and give them a stronger constitutional role within Iraq as a whole.

Turkey ... will look to a potential UN agreement on shutting down transit routes for money and fighting to protect its own domestic security. Ankara has already put out feelers for the idea of creating a "buffer zone" along its border with Syria to do this, and will feel it has the license to be far more ambitious in this regard under the auspices of Obama's new offensive. Likewise Lebanon will use the fight against ISIL to justify further steps to try and close its border with Syria.

Indeed, one of the major non-state winners from the offensive against ISIL may be those companies who provide border security solutions from high-tech fences to surveillance techniques.


For the US, the ISIL crisis is an opportunity for Obama, with public opinion behind him, to bolster his foreign policy credentials by delivering justice to the killers of US journalists. Meanwhile in countries like the UK and France, ISIL could be used to build better communal relations. Indeed, ISIL extremism is being rejected by mainstream Muslim communities.


Similarly, while Iran ... could find a more pragmatic private accommodation with a US policy in Syria limited at attacking ISIL but avoiding any slide to regime change.

Syria, as ever, is where things become more complex.


While the Syrian regime may privately welcome having a common enemy as the US, and offering intelligence in support, there are wider questions at play ... While the region may align on an anti-ISIL strategy the traditional fault lines as what to do about the Bashar al-Assad regime are no closer to being bridged.


But there are losers and as ever in the era of the refugee these are likely, certainly in the short term, to be those civilians currently living in ISIL-controlled areas. Tens of thousands have already been displaced by a combination of violence in Iraq, Syria, and the ISIL emergence, the addition of this new Obama campaign will place those remaining in the eye of the gathering storm.

James Denselow is a writer on Middle East politics and security issues and a research associate at the Foreign Policy Centre.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.