Well, I think there’s going to be a generational challenge. I don’t think that this is something that’s going to happen overnight. They have now created an environment in which young men are more concerned whether they’re Shiite or Sunni, rather than whether they are getting a good education or whether they are able to, you know, have a good job. Many of them are poor. Many of them are illiterate and are therefore more subject to these kinds of ideological appeals. And, you know, the beginning of the solution for the entire Middle East is going to be a transformation in how these countries teach their youth. What our military operations can do is to just check and roll back these networks as they appear and make sure that the time and space is provided for a new way of doing things to begin to take root. But it’s going to take some time … But in the meantime, it’s not just buy them time, it’s also making sure that Americans are protected, that our allies are protected …To which I say, well, ok, but what if none of that happens? Do we walk away, or keep escalating our own involvement? I hope the former but fear the latter.
With the allies, with their ground troops, and if we do our job right and the Iraqis fight, then over time our role can slow down and taper off. And their role, reasserts itself. But all that depends, Steve. And nobody’s clearer than I am about this. That the Iraqis have to be willing to fight. And they have to be willing to fight in a nonsectarian way. Shiite, Sunni and Kurd alongside each other against this cancer in their midst.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Obama's Middle East Strategy
The President on 60 Minutes yesterday: