This article was forwarded by a dear friend who arguably understands the historical, cultural and religious framework of the Middle East better than anyone save Bernard Lewis (and I only make that exception because I know my friend's profound respect of and admiration for Prof. Lewis). I think we, the U.S., fail to fully appreciate the struggle between Sunni and Shia in the policies we develop and execute in that region. During the Cold War, we understood that crises in various regions were often proxy actions between Soviet and Western/U.S. backed surrogates, tactical actions in a larger/global strategic contest between the Soviet Union and the Western Democracies. Yet we miss the analogous condition when we look at the Muslim world. As we decide where, when, and how to intervene in Middle East affairs, we should always keep in mind that the real battle being waged is between Shiites and Sunnis, and Arabs (Saudi) vs. Persians (Iran). But enough of my babbling...please read: The Endless War: Saudi Arabia Goes on the Offensive Against Iran.