According to reports published this week, Iranian warplanes have conducted air strikes on ISIS positions in Northern Iraq, and America – or at least John Kerry – has subsequently issued a statement of approval.
Let’s leave aside the issue of ISIS and the struggle against it for the moment, and focus on the geostrategic significance of this. What we are witnessing is the germination of a US-Iranian regional alliance. For me, there are three questions raised by this: What does it mean? Is it a good thing? Why is it happening?
The answer to the last question is as follows: it is happening because America is losing confidence in its military. It no longer believes it can win a war with Iran or countries of comparable size and wealth. This is little short of disastrous for those states who rely on American supremacy for their security.
The answer to the second question is simply no, it isn’t a good thing. There are a thousand reasons available to me, but I need only select one. This reason is Israel. For all the talk of a newly moderated Iranian regime, the Persian state remains a devilish theocracy and still hungrily pursues nuclear weapons with a view to using them in the near future. The Rouhani regime, much touted as reformative, has presided in fact over a shocking increase in executions, both of political opponents and of those deemed socially deviant.
Finally, to answer the first question, this rapprochement means that the Bush era, together with its doctrine of the promoting Western values through foreign policy, has been brought to an inglorious close by President Obama. The West is now pursuing a strictly short-termist strategy with the Muslim world, taking on a new frenemy to suit each agenda placed in front of its nose.
A knowledge of the past makes this foreboding. Look where the short-termist approach has gotten us so far? Apart from being responsible for the idiotic ‘alliances’ with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan and the UAE, the philosophy of quick-fixes has ruined the reputation of the US military abroad and imperilled its leadership.
The circle is complete.