Why Baghdadi's "Caliphate" Should Be Destroyed

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman - Islamism is not the only possible version of Islam. It is a relatively new political ideology that claims to compete with other "isms," including nationalism, communism, and other manifestations of modernity. The Islamists' claim to supremacy depends not on the quality of their religious interpretation but on the force of their actions. Whereas Sh'ia traditions sanctify losers in battle, Sunnis do not. Total defeat on the field of battle would thus lead to the collapse of the ideas for which IS stands. Will Hizbullah feel safe going after Israel once IS is gone? Not likely. There will still be many angry Sunnis in both Syria and Lebanon who will not be inclined to forget who shed their blood on Assad's behalf. It would be best for Israel, side by side with our regional partners in the "camp of stability," to join those within the American security and policy establishment who still see all Islamists - Iran, IS, and Muslim Brotherhood - as enemies. Together, these partners should outline a phased campaign that begins with the destruction of IS, moves on to the marginalization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and ultimately isolates the Iranian regime and takes back the gains it made in the name of fighting IS. The writer, former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel's National Security Council, served for over 20 years in IDF Military Intelligence.

2016-08-12 00:00:00

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