Emirs of Sunni Iraqi tribes in the former “triangle of death” – Fallujah, Ramadi, etc. – in Anbar province are totally convinced ISIS/ISIL/Daesh WON’T be defeated militarily. They insist the realm of Caliph Ibrahim will only be defeated from the inside – if an acceptable political solution is found for Sunni representation in Iraq. This is their way of saying they DON’T want the Caliphate to be totally defeated.
I met some of these guys in the past decade; they always received me very well (because I was not allied with the occupiers, plus we could discuss the intricacies of Asian football’s Champions League in detail over tea and kebabs). So I really pay attention to what they’re saying now.
These tribes, very conservative, most of all abhor Iran, and not the Caliphate, which they view as a useful block to the “imperial expansionism” of the Persian “Safavids” (a very common expression in those parts). Talk about an absolutely intractable problem.
So the ball is indeed in Baghdad’s court. Don’t hold your breath… they won’t be able to kick it.
As for the Empire of Chaos, it’s not exactly displeased. Washington, formally, may be fighting the Caliphate. But it remains extremely respectful of the Caliphate’s ideological matrix: Wahhabism as practiced by the Sunni House of Saud.
Powerful – if conflicting – factions within the Empire of Chaos tend to agree on one key Divide and Rule tenet. ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is a bunch of gangsters that help keeping post-Sykes Picot “Syraq” (the 1916 imperialist pact that helped create these two nations) in total chaos. Either way, they are useful; as an excuse for perpetuating the war on terror (remember the Pentagon’s Infinite War?), or not totally defeated and thus able to generate what else? Perpetual chaos.
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