Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Al Qaeda's Goals in Iraq

A captured letter from Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's second in command, to Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, reveals Al Qaeda's goals in Iraq.
[T]he Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals:
The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq.
The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate- over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, i.e., in Sunni areas, in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans, immediately upon their exit ... .
...
The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.
The fourth stage: ... It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.


No matter what you think about the wisdom of invading Iraq, Iraq today is clearly the most important battlefield in the War on Terror. An American pullout from Iraq will give Al Qaeda a victory, and Iraq will likely become what Afghanistan was.

What is happening today in Iraq is what Ql Qaeda intended to happen in Afghanistan. The brevity of the battle in Afghanistan did not give Al Qaeda an opportunity to test America's resolve. Iraq presents a test of America's resolve to do what it takes to win the battles and ultimately to prevail in the War on Terror.

Read more at Austin Bay Blog.

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