The fragmentation of Iraq and its security political implications

Stephan Maninger

The origin of the so-called „Caliph State” 2014 as a result of the Iraq Conflict which had started in 2003, has not only abolished state frontiers in the Near East, but has also effects on the security political situation in Europe. The liberation and democratization of Iraq as a model for the entire Near East has proved impracticable. Moreover, this part of the US-strategic nucleus seems to have contributed to a destabilization of the region. The global withdrawal of the USA, prefaced with a speech 2009 at the University of Cairo by the US-President Barack Obama which was supposed to be peaceable, has given rise to a global security vacuum. This has enabled the Jihad forces not only to recover from the heavy setbacks of the last century, but also to achieve a geographical basis in 2014, which is called “Caliph State”, consisting of the Sunni parts of Iraq and Syria. History of origins, consequences and action alternatives are objects of the following essay. There is the strategic interest of the West to destroy the Caliph State forever and to replace it by an order doing justice to the right of self-determination of the Sunnites in their regions. Here it does not matter whether such an order is democratic or not. The American allies in the region have lost their confidence in the action willingness of the USA, and they will certainly find other ways of protecting their interests. Regional rivals such as Saudi-Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Turkey will position themselves in this sense, and they will use the abolishment of the Iraqi borders as an opportunity to strengthen their influence. The acquisition of technologies of mass extermination for the protection against an enhanced Iranian influence will become more likely for actors such as Saudi-Arabia. The Western intervention in Iraq will have to deal with a territorial solution, as neither the USA nor their allies nor the international community have the power and the resources to re-join a fragmented Iraq. Drawing natural borders appears to be more promising than another “nation building” – attempt after a third intervention of the USA. The war in Iraq has become a source of regional and global instability, and has induced a rearrangement of borders and power proportions in the Near East. The experiences made there again demonstrate the weaknesses of Western approaches of conflict solution, thus necessitating rethinking the intervention strategies, away from the vision of state preservation, towards a territorial solution. At the same time, both the travel freedom of many “home comers” and refugee flows lead to a conflict transfer into Western countries, thus generating serious and permanent security political changes. Here, with a Western World which retreats, becomes senile, and is morally exhausted, the consequences are in the air.