posted at 07:50
Author Name: Michael B Kelley
Worst Case Scenario In The Middle East
Shi'ite volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, take part in field training in Najaf, August 20, 2014. Ali Khedery, the longest continuously serving American official in Iraq, recently sat down with Reza Akhlaghi of the Foreign Policy Association to discuss American policy in the Middle East. Iraq accounts for 61% of expected growth in output capacity of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by 2018. While most reserves are in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Shia south, an Iraq that's on fire is not good for supply lines. All signs indicate an intensifying Shia-Sunni war stretching from the Mediterranean coast to Iran as the Tehran-backed and Shia-dominated governments of Syria and Iraq face largely Sunni insurgencies dominated by the growing army of ISIS. As ISIS consolidates its control of Sunni Iraq, Khedery notes that in 2010 "Washington betrayed the promises that the U.S. government had made to the Sunni tribal leaders, the same leaders that had fought al-Qaeda [in Iraq] throughout the 'Awakening.'". In December 2010, America's continued support of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made it so that "Iraq's path toward civil war was really inevitable," Khedery said. "Then given Maliki's misrule in Iraq and Assad's misrule in Syria and their cooperation along with the Iranians and Hezbollah to wage a campaign of genocide, led to a region-wide sectarian war while the United States under President Obama stood back and watched and did nothing as the violence spiraled further and further out of control," Khedery said.

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