Kofi Annan, who served as secretary-general of the United Nations when the group overwhelmingly supported the 2003 U.S. war in Iraq, claimed at the Munich Security Conference that the United States is to blame for the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Annan also asserted that he was always in opposition to the Iraq war.
“The folly of that fateful decision was compounded by post-invasion decisions. The wholesale disbandment of the security forces, among other measures poured hundreds of thousands of trained and disgruntled soldiers and policemen onto the streets,” said Annan of the post-invasion strategy.
“The ensuing chaos has proved an ideal breeding ground for the Sunni radical groups that have now coalesced around the Islamic State label,” he further stated.
Mr. Annan said that combating the ISIS problem requires a long-term strategy, claiming that “there are no quick fixes or easy solutions,” reports Rudaw.
Another factor for regional instability was the Arab-Israeli conflict, added the former UN chief.
He warned, “The radicals are leading the Middle East astray if they think that their ideology will restore the Muslim world’s erstwhile greatness. On the contrary, world history teaches us that closed societies decay. Open societies are the ones that prosper.”
In concluding his speech, Annan suggested that “the Middle East must adapt, change, and build a future” based on “peace and security, inclusive development, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.” He added, “If it does so, then I believe the majority of the people of the Middle East will not be sorry to see the end of the Middle East as we know it.”