The Pentagon plan to ‘divide and rule’ the Muslim world
Davidson points out that there is precedent for this: “There have been repeated references in the Reagan era to the usefulness of sectarian conflict in the region to US interests.”
One post-Reagan reiteration of this vision was published by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Strategic and Political Advanced Studies for Benjamin Netanyahu. The 1996 paper, A Clean Break, by Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Richard Perle – all of whom went on to join the Bush administration – advocated regime-change in Iraq as a precursor to forging an Israel-Jordan-Turkey axis that would “roll back” Syria, Lebanon and Iran. The scenario is surprisingly similar to US policy today under Obama.
Twelve years later, the US Army commissioned a further RAND report suggesting that the US “could choose to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world… to split the jihadist movement between Shiites and Sunnis.” The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan”. Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance.
Around the same time as this RAND report was released, the US was covertly coordinating Saudi-led Gulf state financing to Sunni jihadist groups, many affiliated to al-Qaeda, from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon. That secret strategy accelerated under Obama in the context of the anti-Assad drive.
The widening Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict would “reduce the al-Qaeda threat to US interests in the short term,” the report concluded, by diverting Salafi-jihadist resources toward “targeting Iranian interests throughout the Middle East,” especially in Iraq and Lebanon, hence “cutting back… anti-Western operations”.
By backing the Iraqi Shiite regime and seeking an accommodation with Iran, while propping up al-Qaeda sponsoring Gulf states and empowering local anti-Shia Islamists across the region, this covert US strategy would calibrate levels of violence to debilitate both sides, and sustain “Western dominance”.
Le rapport de la Rand : Unfolding the Future of the Long War, 2008 :
Nafeez Ahmed avait déjà cité longuement ce document en août 2013 dans le Guardian (repris à l’époque sur Seenthis par Kassem) :
(via Angry Arab)