Recently, clashes erupted from time to time in Iraq and Syria between US forces and the various militias supported by Iran. In fact, these confrontations are due to a fundamental error in the design of the war, and are considered a continuation of it, according to the American political scientist at Ohio University John Mueller.
Mueller, a senior researcher at the US Cato Institute, says in a report published by the American “National Interest” magazine that this should have been clear to the instigators of that war, even before it was launched in 2003.
Mueller explained that there is an extensive study of the US military confirming that “the vast majority of decisions in the Iraq war were taken by very intelligent, highly experienced leaders.” Nevertheless, the study concludes that “the failure to achieve our strategic goals” stems from thinking that includes “methodological deficiencies”, most notably that “American leaders seemed to believe that other countries in the region would not have a response.”
President George W. Bush, who upon assuming the presidency adopted a modest foreign policy, suddenly changed this course in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States. He declared that his country’s “responsibility towards history” has now become “to rid the world of evil.”
A few months later, Bush announced that despite the assumption that evil was everywhere, there was a special “axis”, which lay mainly in North Korea, Iran and Iraq.
Mueller says that Iran has fully realized that it is in trouble, and so is Syria, which at times seemed to be on the list of targets presented by Bush and his clique of neoconservatives on an almost daily basis.
To add to the assertion, Military Adviser Richard Perle suggested shortly after the invasion of Iraq the necessity of conveying a brief message to the other hostile regimes in the region: “Your turn is upon you.”
Thus it became clear that it was in the interest of Iran and North Korea to work closely together and provide protection for friends in Iraq to make the presence of the Americans there extremely miserable.
On the other hand, North Korea, which is under threat, has withdrawn from the NPT and has devoted efforts to obtaining nuclear weapons to deter any US attack.
In addition to Iran and Syria, other foreign elements have been attracted to Iraq, who have devoted their efforts to disrupting the presence of the occupier there and killing his forces. In particular, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who sympathized with Al Qaeda’s ideology and agenda, became the leader of an army of thousands of terrorists who devoted their lives to committing atrocities.
Perhaps Zarqawi’s association with Al Qaeda attracted new recruits and secured financial and logistical support. And Zarqawi benefited the most by using US soldiers as much violence in Iraq against his forces.
However, the reckless atrocities committed by Zarqawi’s forces – such as beheadings in mosques, bombing stadiums, seizing hospitals, executing private citizens, and forced marriage – were ultimately self-destructive and led to the Iraqis’ coup against these forces.
Taking advantage of this, the US military was able to control the civil war in Iraq to some extent by 2009. But the campaign that was achieved through it resulted in the deaths of a thousand Americans, seven times the number that the United States lost in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Mueller says that the defeat of Al-Zarqawi’s forces was in the end, but that was not achieved until after the Americans suffered heavy losses.
On the other hand, Iran was, and still is, an element of harassment, which is now also being pushed by resentment over the sanctions imposed on it.
In 2010, briefings made clear to US military commanders in Afghanistan that no counterinsurgency attempt was known to have been successful at any time when the insurgents sought refuge in deep safe haven across the border.
Although they added that they hoped that the situation in Afghanistan would be different, more than a decade after their statements had not proven that this happened.
In the conclusion of his report, Mueller asserts that the relevant experience in Iraq indicates that the briefers were completely right. And if the United States does not want to fight an all-out war directly against Iran – which could result in another catastrophe in the Middle East – the Iranians could continue as they are forever.
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