The rivalry between the United States and China must not lead us to overlook the fact that the Cold War with Islamism and Jihadism is ongoing and is likely to go on for decades until Islamism and Jihadism ultimately are discredited among Muslims by becoming eclipsed by globalizing digital liberalization.
There has always been a problem in United States policy making circles since 9/11 about defining the adversary. This was especially true during the Obama years as President Obama sought to reconcile the United States with political Islam (Islamism) rather than globally strategically defeat it. There is no doubt however that Islamists and Jihadists regard the United States as their major strategic adversary along with a myriad of Muslim and non-Muslim adversaries of Islamism and Jihadism worldwide. The US refusal to designate Islamism and Jihadism as the enemy has harmed US resilience and undermined its military efforts worldwide in the war on Islamism and Jihadism.
Then there are the non-negotiations in Vienna during which the Khomeinist regime continues to accelerate its already advanced nuclear weapons program. It is in a sense good that the US exhausts the timeline so to speak before there is military action to strategically degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons program. However, it must not be disregarded that the clinging to the Vienna format of actual non-negotiations is still based on a faint hope on the part of at least part of the US government that somehow reconciliation will be possible with the Khomeinist regime in Tehran. Make no mistake, the Khomeinist regime is an existential enemy of the United States of America and is not the slightest shy to say so in still publicly branding America as “the Great Satan” and leading chants of “death to America” in regime Friday mosques throughout Iran.
The pro-Islamist worldview of US Iran envoy Robert Malley is completely disconnected from reality as the Iranian regime has long since decided in favor of an economic alliance with Washington’s rival Beijing instead of a resumption of the JCPOA. This US policy shortcoming stems from the consistent US failure to designate Islamism and Jihadism as the strategic adversary. This is peculiar considering that the US seems to have no qualms about designating China as its strategic rival. This state of denial is the equivalent of denying that the ideology of Communism (Marxism-Leninism) was the strategic adversary during the global standoff with the Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century.
The US government need not necessarily publicly call out the ideologies and movements of Jihadism (militant Islam) and Islamism (political Islam) as the enemy of the United States but at least this very realization needs to be the very foundation of US policy making on this remaining strategic threat to the United States and ongoing global rivalry, indeed contemporary global Cold War with Islamism and Jihadism.