TheBlaze’s national security adviser Buck Sexton on Wednesday said that while the Obama administration is “playing wait-and-see” in Iraq, there are reports that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has taken control of a former chemical weapons plant just north of Baghdad.
The extremist group is growing increasingly powerful, which is why Sexton chose to apply a concept he learned in the CIA, called “red cell,” to the crisis.
“Red cell is basically a war-gaming exercise, but it looks specifically at high-impact, low-probability scenarios,” Sexton said. “Things that could happen, and if they did happen, would really make a very big difference. It also looks at things that are likely, and tries to then give us a sense — an analytic sense — of where all this is going.”
Sexton brought in Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute to weigh in on five possibilities about the future of Iraq. The first explored what would happen if Baghdad fell into the control of ISIS.
“That’s one of the worst situations possible,” Rubin remarked. “The Islamic State has gotten a lot of low-hanging fruit … but it has yet to seize a national capital. If it seizes Baghdad, suddenly it’s a whole new ball game.”
Rubin said if ISIS does seize Baghdad, it could “set the whole region alight.”
The second possibility considered whether ISIS could set up its own governing apparatus, and essentially become an unrecognized state.
“To some extent, this is already starting to occur,” Rubin said. “The Islamic State has issued passports; it has issued license plates. But really the scenario … is going ‘back to the future’ and looking at pre-9/11 Afghanistan, where the Taliban had created their Islamic emirate.”
Rubin said groups like ISIS broker “no room for dissent anywhere in the world,” and that if they create their own state, America must “be prepared for the fact that they will train, reach out, and attack us.”
The third possibility explored what would happen if ISIS conducted a terror attack against the west.
“Ultimately, the United States responds,” Rubin said. “It would, in all likelihood, be some kind of military intervention back in the region. The reason is simple: if you create a space for these terrorists to thrive, they metastasize and ultimately they will reach out and strike us.”
The last two options considered the future of the region if the Jordanian government collapsed, or if a Kurdish state arose. You can watch the complete segment below:
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