Home > Americas, Conflict & Security, Middle East, Politics, USA > Dialogue is Not a Dirty Word

Dialogue is Not a Dirty Word

Ryan Carr writes in Asia Times:

After decades of neglect, the US military has spent the past few years feverishly trying to relearn some of the counterinsurgency lessons from its past. Arguably, the most discussed lesson concerns the ultimate “prize” in insurgent conflicts – winning the hearts and minds of an indigenous population.

In Iraq, increasing attention has focused on how to improve America’s politico-military policies in an effort to garner the support of Iraqis. However, Iraq also reminds us of another critical lesson – the role and impact external supporters can have with regard to successful insurgencies.

The focal point for such external assistance in Iraq is Iran. The United States has consistently argued that Tehran is providing military, financial, and operational support to the Iraqi insurgency. However, US policymakers continue to express some surprise as to why Iran is supporting the Iraqi insurgency. In recent discussions about Iran’s presumed role in Iraq and Afghanistan, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates commented, “What [Iran’s] motives are other than causing trouble for us, I don’t know.”

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