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Friday, March 20, 2015

From The Washington Post: Iran is a bigger threat than Islamic State. So what?

...The Iranian regime controls vast energy reserves, some key geopolitical chokepoints, an actual government, a nuclear program, a regular military, a lot of not-so-regular militias and armed groups, a large number of young people, and a proud civilization. The Islamic State controls some energy reserves, a few not-so-regular militias, a small number of young people, and a few parts of Syria and Iraq. One actor has vastly greater capabilities than the other actor. In other words, of course Iran is a bigger threat than the Islamic State to the United States and its interests in the region.

The second reaction is to ask what one should do with this observation. Contrary to recent rhetoric, it’s not as obvious as “end all cooperation with Iran.”

Indeed, if one reads carefully, Petraeus and Friedman are offering radically different prescriptions for U.S. policy. Friedman notes that the U.S. military has cleared out a lot of Iran’s enemies, and maybe that should stop...

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