SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The US invasion of Iraq and the subsequent “divide and rule” policy increased terrorism and violence in the country, which gave rise to terrorist groups like ISIL, an American international relations scholar says.
“ISIS (or ISIL) would not exist or at least not be nearly as powerful a force were it not for the US invasion of Iraq and its divide and rule policies that followed,” said Stephen Zunes, a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and a leading critic of US policy in the Middle East.
“The more the United States has bombed Iraq and neighboring countries, the worst the situation has become and the US has been bombing Iraq on-and-off for nearly a quarter of a century and things have only gotten worse, there should be a lesson in that,” Zunes told Press TV on Tuesday.
Washington has launched hundreds of airstrikes against the ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria, which analysts regard as part of the US attempts to gradually spread its influence in the region.
Reports say thousands of private security contractors are being asked by the US government to consider joining the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria and possibly elsewhere in the Middle East.
During the height of the US military intervention in Iraq in 2007, more than 180,000 private contractors were stationed in that country as well as in Afghanistan, according to Peter Singer, a military strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
“The possibility that large numbers of private contractors could be brought into Iraq and Syria as support units for US assistance efforts to fight ISIL would mark a dangerous escalation,” Zunes added.
“Such mercenaries were used a lot during the US occupation of Iraq and they engaged in serious war crimes and routinely acted with impunity.”