The Situation in Iraq: Policy Implications for the West
A key aspect of the ongoing political crisis in Iraq is the anger directed at foreign meddling, and specifically, at the role played by Iran and its proxies. The IRGC Qods Force has penetrated deep into Iraqi power structures over the last 15 years. Weakening and possibly reducing this Iranian grip, through an appeal to Iraqi nationalism, will not solve Iraq's profound problems. Among other challenges, the Islamic State still has influence in some Sunni areas. Nevertheless, countering Iran's power is still an achievable goal, worth pursuing.
Strong Security, Social Change, and Ideological Warfare: A Three-Pronged Strategy for Defeating Islamist Totalitarianism
Defeating Islamist totalitarianism requires a three-pronged approach: Hard power (destroying Salafi Jihadist forces, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and undercutting avid supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood such as Turkey and Qatar); Social and economic leverage; Conduct of an aggressive war of ideas that would de-legitimize the Islamists in Islamic terms. Israel can play a discreet role by extending its hand to moderate Muslims, while taking a firm stance against the totalitarian perversion of Islam.
The “Moderate Sunni Camp” – Does it Really Exist?
In recent years there has been much talk in Israel and the US about the “moderate/pragmatic Sunni camp” as a potential regional ally for dealing with Iran and even for pursuing a “creative” solution to the Palestinian issue. However, this “camp” is not really a unified player, but more an expression of Saudi and Emirati aspirations for hegemony. There is also a lack of identity of interests and agendas between these states and Egypt and Jordan, which have long been important strategic partners of Israel. Although Israel should pursue any opportunity to strengthen ties with Arab and Muslim states,