Mosul, the second largest Iraqi city, has recently been liberated from the Islamic State (IS) control. When the terror outfit captured the city three years ago, top IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said: “Come to me, I will give you a new Caliphate.” Although Russia announced in June that al-Baghdadi was killed in an air-strike, a Kurd leader recently claimed that he is still alive. Even if the IS leader is alive, the terror group is in deep trouble not only in Iraq, but also in neighbouring Syria. Their dream of establishing a Caliphate in West Asia is shattered (especially after their defeat in Mosul).
However, there is no reason to believe that it will not be possible for the IS to strike back. Al-Qaeda, too, lost its bases in Afghanistan in the past, but did not get erased. Instead, the group managed to spread terror networks through various local outfits, such as Boko Haram in Africa and the Islamic State of Khorasan in Afghanistan. Similarly, the IS, despite heavy losses in Iraq and Syria, is still alive and kicking. The group is constantly trying to carry out fresh attacks in different parts of the world to show its might.
Perhaps, Donald Trump has failed to realise this fact. Or else, he doesn’t want to realise. The American president’s declared goals are: to destroy the IS, to withdraw US forces from the war zone in West Asia and to diminish Iran’s power. The global community knows that it will not be possible to attain these three goals simultaneously. But, President Trump is a different person. People, like him, don’t think before they speak. He may think that the job is almost done as Mosul has been liberated and a couple of “mother of all bombs” will do the rest.
However, such thoughts are not realistic and it will not be easy to end this war. Even if the ongoing war ends in defeat for the IS, the world powers cannot resolve the West Asian crisis. Basically, diplomacy is far more complex than a war. Only prudent political decisions can help establish a balance of power in the troubled region and resolve the crisis.
President Trump has a different plan. He is trying hard to maintain a balance between all the West Asian nations (and various groups) and to bring them together against the IS. For that, it is important to give more powers to the Sunnis in Iraq, where Shia (65-75%) is the majority community. In 2014, a BBC report said: “One of the factors behind the most recent violence in Iraq is the sectarian divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims in that country. The majority of Iraq’s Muslims are Shia, and the IS militants, gaining ground there, are Sunni.” So, it is also important to involve Iran in this “project”.
However, Trump’s America is determined to make Iran an enemy. Former President Barack Obama worked really hard to convince Iran to sign a nuclear deal. It was a major step in building an effective relationship between Tehran and Washington. Trump inherited the deal – an effective tool to establish balance in West Asia – from his predecessor. But, he is not at all interested in this deal. In fact, he is planning to cancel the deal and impose new sanctions on Tehran in order to undermine Iran’s power. The US president has no idea that such a move will leave West Asia devastated.