But, But, Butâ€¦Sunnis and Shiites Can't Cooperate
3:14 PM, Sep 22, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The McChrystal Report on Iran's hand in Afghanistan (emphasis added):
This is only the latest instance in which the U.S. military has publicly stated that Iran is arming and training Taliban fighters. It is worth remembering that Iran and the Taliban regime were on the verge of hostilities in 1998 after the Taliban slaughtered Shiites, including Iranian diplomats, in Mazar-e-Sharif. But that hasn't stopped the two from cooperating against their common enemy: America.
McChrystal says that Iran's role in Afghanistan is "ambiguous," by which he clearly means "capable of being understood in two or more possible senses or ways." Outwardly, the Iranians provide some nominal assistance with respect to building roads and other "developmental" projects. The Iranians are going to try to win influence however they can. But at the same time, they help the Taliban kill Americans because Americans inside Afghanistan are simply not acceptable to the mullahs.
As Steve Hayes noted, Obama's own Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, made this clear in February of this year. Blair's declassified written responses to questions from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee included these comments (emphasis added):
The McChrystal Report says that Iran's training and arming of the Taliban does not currently jeopardize the mission. However, according to McChrystal, Iran does a pose a threat to the future of Afghanistan. "A number of risks outside of ISAF's control could undermine the mission, to include â€¦ actions of external actors such as Pakistan and Iran."
And, in the meantime, Iran's "lethal" support means more dead Americans and other coalition members.