CIA chief assesses states infected by ISIL may not recover ‘in my lifetime’

by WorldTribune Staff, September 9, 2016

CIA Director John Brennan says it will take quite a significant amount of time befor Syria and Iraq can recover from the devastation caused by Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

CIA Director John Brennan
CIA Director John Brennan

“I don’t know whether or not Syria and Iraq can be put back together again. There’s been so much bloodletting, so much destruction, so many continued, seething tensions and sectarian divisions,” Brennan said in an interview with the CTC Sentinel, a publication from the West Point military academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.

“I question whether we will see, in my lifetime, the creation of a central government in both of those countries that’s going to have the ability to govern fairly,” he added, noting that he could envision some type of a federal structure governing autonomous regions.

Brennan predicted ISIL will remain a presence inside Syria and Iraq for “quite a while to come” despite the recent battlefield defeats it has suffered.

“I do think a number of them are going to remain a challenge for the United States as well for other governments for a number of years to come,” he said.

Brennan added that the fracturing in the two nations includes the establishment by Kurdish populations of de-factor states in northern Iraq and parts of Syria.

Brennan went on to describe how ISIL is now “collaborating” in Yemen with Al Qaida to fight common enemies, such as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition.

“The farther away you get from that (ISIL) heartland of Syria and Iraq, the more likely you’re going to see collaboration between Al Qaida elements, (ISIL) elements, and others,” he said.

“We see it right now in Yemen…. There are indications that, in fact, they’re working together.”