The war on Iraq was ill-conceived, based on sinister motives and produced only negative results. The motive was global domination, after the demise of the Soviet Union, which brought America and its allies on one platform to develop a two-pronged strategy against the Muslim World. Under this strategy they stoked up sectarian divides in targeted countries, to soften-up the ground for military action against countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria. As a consequence, “the costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are now spinning out of control and spreading terror towards more dangerous directions. The threat being posed by the extremists, estimated at 15,000-25,000 have become a kind of Petri-dish, in which a growing global terror threat is being cultivated.” – Rand Corporation Report 2013.

The US State Department, in its report says: “We are on the verge of seeing Iraq fracture into an extremist Sunni state in the West and the Iranian puppet state in the East.” Still, President Obama refuses to intervene in Iraq. He is not prepared to send drones in either, although he has positioned a warship in the gulf. Senator L. Graham rightly warns: “Iraq and Syria combined are going to be the staging area for the next 9/11”. And don’t forget, Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan who, like Maleki is being groomed to head the government by the Northern Alliance who rode the American tanks to capture Kabul in 2001. The Taliban, who are in majority, fought and won the war, and are being denied their due share in governance. Mullah Omar, who controls over 80% Afghan territory, like Abu Bakar Baghdadi, may be waiting on the wings to sweep across Afghanistan and capture Kabul, as soon as the occupation forces leave.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were aimed at controlling the heartland of the Muslim World, and have proved very damaging for the United States and its allies. The “deterrence”, which their military power provided to maintain global order, has been lost. Their economic strength, which supported their military power has also suffered degradation, because of the two very expensive wars and the global economic melt-down of 2007. Therefore, the result is that “the United States of America, the sole super power of the world is in decline, and so is Europe. Both are incapable of taking damage control measures in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. To say that the mission has been accomplished, presents a pathetic narrative.”

Confronted with such daunting problems, the United States is taking some jerky decisions: It has now embraced Iran, whom it has been demonizing for the last three decades. Now the US wants Iran to militarily intervene in Iraq to save the day for Maleki. On the other hand, the World War II warring nations – Germany and Japan, are being provoked to regain their military prowess and join hands with China and India, to maintain the global balance of power, but the policy is not synchronous with the existing policy of Asia Pacific Military Alliance of the US, Japan and India, to contain the rising power of China. The confusion only seems compounded.

Iraq seems to be fracturing and falling apart. The occupation forces, through a series of sectarian riots, during the period 2007-2009, segregated the population into Sunnis in the West and Shias in the East. The Kurds have occupied areas up to Kirkuk, the oil producing region for the emerging state of Kurdistan. Recent reports are quite disturbing; that the jihadists from far and near are converging on Iraq. Saddam’s ex military men and loyalists, under Izzat Aldawari have formed a sizeable fighting force, with captured aircrafts, gunships, weapons and ammunition. Iran and the US are likely to intervene to further complicate the situation.

The strategy to weaken the Muslim countries by provoking sectarian divide has failed. So has the military option. Yet, there is an option to achieve interfaith harmony by adopting the way so boldly shown by Rev Pope Francis. On 8th June, 2014, he invited the People of the Book – the Muslims, Christians and Jews and their leaders to the Vatican City, and jointly prayed to God for mercy. And for the first time, Azaan, the call for prayers, was made from the high pedestal of the Vatican City Church, seeking Allah’s blessings, for peace and harmony- the way to a peaceful global order.

PS. As it turns out, President Obama has now declared that the Iraqis will have to get their act together to defend Iraq and to evolve a political plan to settle the matter, and that American troops will not return for combat in Iraq except for 300 military advisors. American aircrafts and drones, stationed at bases outside Iraq, will carry out targeted and precise strikes to keep the ISIS Jihadists away from Baghdad. Good luck, Maleki!

The writer is a former chief of army staff.

friendsfoundation@live.co.uk