Thomas Donnelly writes on the homepage:
In Obama's view of international politics and power, Iraq is not simply "the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign policy," but a diversion, a strategic sideshow. He claims "Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and never has been," and offers "broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Obama needs to look at a map and a history book. Iraq long has been and today remains one of the two naturally dominant powers in the Persian Gulf region, home to the second-largest proven oil reserves on the planet and a front-line bulwark against revolutionary Iran. That's where this story began: with Saddam's Hussein's ambitions for hegemony and his long and bloody war with Iran. It was a pity, as Henry Kissinger famously quipped, that both sides in that conflict couldn't lose. But neither the United States nor the rest of the world could be oblivious to the outcome; the strategic stakes were too great. Obama should also listen to Osama, who recognized "Baghdad as the capital of the caliphate" that he aspires to recreate. "The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation," he declared in 2004. "It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate." Bin Laden had a clear grasp of the inherent balance of power in the Islamic world; he would have preferred to rule in Baghdad than Kabul.
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