by user Dannyjnorman
Iran’s Chance: U.S. Troubles in Iraq Create Opening for Regional Shift - New York Times.
From the very start of the American occupation of Iraq, at least some in the Bush administration saw an opportunity to curtail the influence of Iran’s radical Shiite leaders by producing an alternative, moderate center of Shiite Islam that would effectively neuter Tehran in ideological, political and strategic terms.
Poor intelligence, although not entirely President Bush's fault, not only caused the wiff on WMD in Iraq, but possibly a larger blunder.
- Remove Radical Sunni Leader (Saddam Hussein)
- Change name of city named after Radical Sunni Leader (Saddam City)
- Rename city (Sadr City) in honor of Radical Shiite Cleric (Muqtada al Sadr)
True genius. Only a government official from the State Department could have come up with that one. Removing one radical leader for what?
Until 2003 Iran felt insecure as the only major Shiite state in the region and being surrounded by mostly Sunni states. Handing Iran a Shiite state right next door, the one that actually fought a near decade long war with Iran, is a give only the US could deliver.
Faced with more than 100,000 American troops next door and a White House that pursued a policy of pre-emptive war, Iran’s leaders moved quickly to try to prevent the United States from gaining a permanent foothold.
Why the Iranian would have problems with this is uncertain. Looking beyond the first order effects, which the US as well as Iran, failed miserably to do it is apparent that Iran would be better off. What did the US want to do? Set up a democracy. OK, let's count up the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and figure out who is going to win that battle.
Suggested Course of Action: Player-Iran. Effective immediately-provide statements necessary to buy time from UN on nuclear weapons program. Effective immediately-provide all aid to US and Iraq to secure Iraq in order to satisfy US requirements to redeploy troops back to United States in order to eliminate immediate threat to Iran from American troops. Once violence is subdued convince Iraqi leadership US is no longer needed or welcome. Upon redeployment of US troops begin developing greater Shiite coalition with Iraqi leadership to pursue Shiite Muslim Jihad. Once a stronger union with Iraq is developed, and while US still considers Iraq and ally begin joint nuclear weapons program with Iraq. Share just enough of the program to make sure Iraq would be implicated in any sanctions, while keeping as much of the program as possible under Iranian control. Desired endstate-consolidate Shiite power in a Iran-Iraq alliance that controls a greater portion of Middle East oil.