Leverett ominously concludes that US foreign policy has “helped in a big way to create” the ISIS problem and that now the US government is moving forward “with pseudo-solutions that are only going to make the problem worse.” For example, Leverett warns that further arming so-called moderate Syria insurgents will create more channels through which ISIS will obtain US and other weapons — just as such aid has done since the big US push to overthrow the Syria government began.
Early in the discussion, Leverett places Obama’s Middle East policy in the context of the “strategically disastrous” war on terror begun in the George W. Bush Administration:
America’ self-declared post-9/11 war on terror has been strategically disastrous for the United States. It has weakened America’s strategic position in the Middle East and globally, squandered vast material and human resources, and it’s basically destroyed the perceived legitimacy of American purposes in the Middle East for the vast majority of people who live in this strategically critical region. And now President Obama is effectively recommitting the United States to this profoundly self-damaging post-9/11 template for never-ending war in the Middle East. It is insane.Leverett then zeros in on the “delusional” decision to arm so-called moderate Syria insurgents to fight ISIS:
I have been saying for over three years that the idea that there is some moderate, secular Syrian opposition with enough military potential and, even more importantly, enough political standing in Syria to overthrow the Assad government flies in the face of reality. To say that this mythical moderate Syrian opposition is now going to be able to take on the Islamic State I think is just delusional.Watch the complete panel discussion here:
For more analysis of the US government actions that contributed to and continue to contribute to the growth of ISIS, read here a June article by Leverett and American University Senior Professional Lecturer and fellow RPI Academic Board Member Hillary Mann Leverett.