September 29th, 2014
09:04 AM ET

Why Iran is key to success against ISIS

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

We are now in the air power phase of the campaign against ISIS.  These actions usually go well, think of the air wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.  The United States has the world's most advanced planes, rockets, and drones and an extraordinarily capable military.

But what usually follows is messy, think of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.  Ground forces have to fight locals and guerrillas in irregular combat.  The most important questions turn out to be political.  Are the local groups, tribes, and sects fighting with the Americans or against them?

In Iraq, the most important problem remains that the Sunnis do not feel represented by the Baghdad government.  President Obama keeps saying that we have a new government in Iraq, but the implication that it is now inclusive is false.  Sunnis continue to have ceremonial posts with little power.  The army continues to be dominated by Shiites at the upper echelons.

The result is visible on the ground.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. chri§§y

    Same person who asked you fake banasy! Now why dont you take a flying leap at a rolling donut ok.

    September 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
  2. dazzle

    Chrissy, you've done it again.

    September 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  3. Ferhat Balkan

    I don't think Iran is key to success with ISIS. Neither is the US, Turkey or any other country. The key to success lies with Iraq and the local forces there. The peshmerga and the Iraqi army need to get their act together and fight off ISIS. Other countries should only provide intelligence and logistical support. Engaging ISIS in a bombing campaign only serves to make things worse. Unfortunately, the money hungry corrupt leaders who serve only their own interests don't care about that. They want more conflict & more war. So long as the weapon manufacturers keep producing more weapons, they don't mind who they dance with.

    September 29, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • tms5510

      Iran controls Iraq and Assad

      September 30, 2014 at 1:02 am |
  4. chri§§y

    Lol @ dazzle, glad to be of service lol.

    September 29, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
  5. chri§§y

    Agreed @ Ferhat. And you would think with all the supposed training the US did with the Iraqi military they would be more prepared than they are wouldnt you?

    September 30, 2014 at 11:23 am |
  6. Jim

    USA, allies, and the coalition forces should STOP Turkey as soon as possible if they want to stop ISIS. ISIS gets everything through Turkey; new recruits, medical and ammunition support, oil black market. etc. Do not full American people by exaggerating a bunch of blood thirsty terrorists named ISIS. It is not ISIS alone. It is the NATO member Turkey. STOP Turkey as soon as possible.

    September 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • Gerald O'Hare

      Well said, Jim.

      September 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Really??? Turkey's border with ISIS is 500 miles long. NO country on Earth could control it fully even if they wanted to. Has the most powerful nation the US controlled the Mexico border? With the wall, the national guard and border agents, the Mexicans are still coming across. Just this year there was an influx of thousands of children across the border. What we need to stop is ignorant people who believe 500 miles of open land can be easily controlled. Let me ask you this genius... Since nearly half of all ISIS fighters are foreign fighters from other countries, why can't they control these radicals from leaving?

      September 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        Sorry, meant to say Turkey's border with Syria.

        September 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  7. RationalGun

    Where did you plagiarize this one, Zakaria?

    September 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • Linda

      I'll bet you think that never gets're wrong.

      September 30, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
  8. Ang

    US unconditional support of Israel's threats and provocation toward Iran will limit any effective collaboration with Iran. Likewise realistic leverage in achieving broad based Arab support against other Muslims will also be limited at best as long as US money, political and military support are provided to Israel to suppress the freedom of fellow Arabs in Palestine.

    October 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  9. chri§§y

    Agreed @ Ang...not to mention those actions will lose unconditional support from american citizens also. A great number of people in this country are NOT impressed with Israels actions! And even less impressed with the fact that we are the ones financing it!

    October 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  10. Dr. Mike


    Because Iran is behind ISIS. The Iraqi Malki Shiite government let ISIS leadership out of its prisons on the condition of going yo Syria, hoping that this will support Assad's claim that he is bombing terrorists not civilians.

    Who opened the Syrian Iraqi borders for ISIS to enter Syria?

    Who let ISIS leadership out of the Iraqi prison?

    Why didn't Assad forces bomb ISIS strongholds in Syria ?

    Why is it that ISIS has occupied Sunni, Christian and Kurdish cities while not occupying a single Shiite city in Iraq or Syria?

    It is well known that both the Assad and the Malki regimes take orders from Tehran. Iran hopes to establish its hegemony in the Middle East in order to force Europe and the US to recognize it as a regional power.

    October 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
    • Dr. Mike

      My question that Iran is the solution is a sarcastic question. Iran is the problem not the solution for ISIS.

      October 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
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