The Folly of Bombing the Islamic State
“Bin Laden was very proud that he had only spent 500.000 dollars on the 9/11 attacks. The US in response to those attacks has probably spent 3 trillion dollars. So as a return on investment, Bin Laden has done really well”.
Professor Bernard Haykel of Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies elaborates on the current US-led airstrike-campaign against the Islamic State. He argues that for the jihadist Sunni movements Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, the airstrikes will corroborate their narrative of a conspiracy between the West, Jews and Shia Muslims. But Professor Haykel stresses that “IS is not a Western problem, it is a Middle Eastern problem”. He also contests the effectiveness of foreign intervention, holding that: “Every time the West has intervened in the Middle East for the last 200 years it has led to a much worse situation both for the people of the region and for the West.”
The interview was recorded in Amsterdam on November 14, 2014.