11-17-2015; ISIS Part Two.a
Near the end of June, while riding my bicycle for Peace and Environmental Justice across the United States, a six to ten hours a day endeavor, I wrote a piece entitled “What About ISIS, Dan?” In it I tried to separate the two identities of the organization, one a proto-state and the other a loosely organized criminal terror network. Two manifestations require two solutions. I label the terrorist facet criminal because it will take policing and justice tools to stop it. Bombing Syria will not end the criminal actions no more than the bombing and invading Afghanistan and Iraq ended al Qaeda. In fact invading those countries increased al Qaeda’s number and forcefulness.
The only means of ending the state facet of ISIS goes something like Senator and Presidential candidate Sanders suggest, engaging the neighboring Sunni countries. Clearly ISIS is getting help from some of the neighboring states and thanks to WikiLeaks in 2010 we know that Saudi Arabia, Qatra, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are the culprits funding ISIS operations. But ending the development of new Sunni state might not be a possibility nor even a desired outcome.
The need for a new Sunni state in the Middle East is a real possibility. At one time early after we invaded Iraq it was thought that it needed to be split into three autonomous regions, Kurdish, Shia, and Sunni. Considering that the Gulf Alliance, really a Sunni Alliance, has a willingness to fund such a state and that the Shia of Iraq have no intention of really including the Sunni in a government, maybe the three state idea needs to be revived.
For ISIS to maintain its 20,000 soldier army, and that is a very low estimate some have their strength anywhere from 40 to 100 thousand, they would need an annual budget of close to $5 Billion.
From 2006, “The United States must focus now, not on preserving or forging a unified Iraq, but on avoiding a spreading and increasingly dangerous and deadly civil war. It must accept the reality of Iraq's breakup and work with Iraq's Shiites, Kurds, and Sunni Arabs to strengthen the already semi-independent regions. If they are properly constituted, these regions can provide security, though not all will be democratic.” From a review of Peter Galbraith, The End Of Iraq, 2006. (https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1935/the-end-of-iraq)
And again in 2015 on the disintegration of the Iraqi army when attacked in Mosul, Galbraith writes, “In fact, the problems of the Iraqi Army reflect the problems of Iraq where Shiites and Sunnis don’t agree on what it means to be Iraqi and where the Kurds unanimously don’t want to be Iraqi at all. The deficiencies of the army cannot be corrected because they reflect the realities of the society.” Daily Beast, March 2015,
But Iran, Turkey and what is left of Iraq and Syria will resist this alternative, while the Gulf Alliance states might well want it to break up the Sunni Crescent. Turkey will oppose it in that it will create a Kurdish state and engender independence aspirations in her own territory. This is the area where our ‘diplomatic mission’ needs to place its energy.