An Israeli think-tank said that the West should seek the further weakening of the Takfiri ISIL group, but not its destruction
An Israeli think-tank said that the West should seek the further weakening of the Takfiri ISIL group, but not its destruction.
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies considered as a “strategic mistake” the destruction of ISIL, stressing that a weak but functioning ISIL can have many advantages.
“A weak but functioning IS can undermine the appeal of the caliphate among radical Muslims; keep bad actors focused on one another rather than on Western targets; and hamper Iran’s quest for regional hegemony,” Efraim Inbar said in his study published on August 2.
“A weak IS(ISIL) is, counter intuitively, preferable to a destroyed IS. IS is a magnet for radicalized Muslims in countries throughout the world. These volunteers are easier targets to identify, saving intelligence work. They acquire destructive skills in the fields of Syria and Iraq that are of undoubted concern if they return home, but some of them acquire shaheed status while still away - a blessing for their home countries. If IS is fully defeated, more of these people are likely to come home and cause trouble.”
Meanwhile, the study said that the destruction of ISIL could strengthen Russian grip on Syria and bolster its influence in the Middle East and enhance Iranian control of Iraq congruent with American objectives in that country, and the two effects are not in the West’s interests.
On the other hand, the study added that the destruction of ISIL could also benefit Hezbollah.
“Furthermore, Hizballah (Hezbollah)… is being seriously taxed by the fight against IS, a state of affairs that suits Western interests. A Hizballah no longer involved in the Syrian civil war might engage once again in the taking of western hostages and other terrorist acts in Europe.”
The Western distaste for ISIL brutality and immorality should not obfuscate strategic clarity, Began-Sadat Center added, noting that ISIL “are truly bad guys, but few of their opponents are much better.”
“Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys.”