This passage from the transcript caught my eye:
DESVARIEUX: So, Glen, what should the U.S. policy be, then, in that region?
FORD: It doesn’t have any options. The United States began 35 years ago in Afghanistan where it had no reliable foot soldiers to affect the outcome of events, to, in league with Saudi Arabia, fund and arm the mujahideen so that they could undermine the leftist government of Afghanistan. And this was in the months before the Soviets intervened. In the following years, the United States and the Saudis developed what became the international jihadist network. It had never existed before, but the U.S. and the Saudis breathed life into it.
And they found uses for these jihadists, most notably in 2011, when the Arab spring threatened these very regimes, the Saudis and the emirates and the Qatars, all of these filthy rich royal folk felt threatened by what was–by the Arab Spring. And so the United States and its Saudi partners said that we should stage a display of force and mount an attack on the secular regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, to show who’s boss in the region in the face of these threats of disruption. And they, of course, had to utilize the only foot soldiers they had, who were the jihadists, and the United States and Europe acted as the air force for the jihadists. And they tried to replicate that again in Syria, because, well, who else were they going to get to overthrow a secular regime that, like Gaddafi’s in Libya, was not threatening the United States in any way? So the arming of these jihadists became central to U.S. and Saudi policy in the region.
If these jihadists are no longer controllable–and they clearly are not–who are to be the foot soldiers of the United States and the Saudis in the region? And how can the Saudis and the Kuwaitis and the Qataris who live in the countries from which these jihadists come, how can they feel safe when there is a caliphate that claims temporal authority in the region and says that wherever it moves, its borders move with it–that caliphate moves as well?
ISIS: The mother of all blowbacks?