Petraeus Wants To Use Al Qaeda To Take Down The Islamic State

Pitching an idea similar to the one he used in 2007 during the Iraq surge, retired Army general and former … Continued

Pitching an idea similar to the one he used in 2007 during the Iraq surge, retired Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus has quietly proposed a plan to pit moderate members of al Qaeda’s Syrian branch against the Islamic State, the Daily Beast reports.

Those familiar with Petraeus’ thinking told the Daily Beast that he recommends using less extreme al Nusra fighters, who are battling the Islamic State, but who joined with the goal of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

“As prospects for Assad dim, opposition groups not already aligned with the U.S. or our partners will face a choice,” a U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “Groups that try to cater to both hardliners and the West could find themselves without any friends, having distanced themselves from groups like al Qaeda but still viewed as extremists by the moderate opposition and their supporters.”

The plan also faces legal and security barriers, due to the Obama administration having declared al Nusra a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.

James Clark
James Clark

is the Deputy Editor of Task & Purpose and a Marine veteran. He oversees daily editorial operations, edits articles, and supports reporters so they can continue to write the impactful stories that matter to our audience. In terms of writing, James provides a mix of pop culture commentary and in-depth analysis of issues facing the military and veterans community. Contact the author here.

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