I was reminded of this excellent article by the current issue of the Gathering Storm newsletter. The link in the newsletter led me to Right Side News. Below you will find several excerpts from that article.[My comments are between the quotes.] You will also find links to more of the author's works.
How to Defeat Shari'a-driven Islam's Army for Jihad
By Colonel Thomas Snodgrass (USAF, ret.)
Aug 15, 2007
Today a debate rages. Part of the debate - certainly the most immediate component of the debate - is what to do with Iraq. To cut-and-run seems unthinkable when one considers the consequences. To stay and pursue existing strategies seems almost as unthinkable given the corrosive effects domestically and the lack of American will for another long drawn out war with no real end in sight.
How can anyone disagree with that analysis? A pullout will be followed by an internecine blood bath. No matter who comes out on top, it will be one of our enemies. In any case, Iraq will revert to status quo ante: a state sponsor of terrorism. Terrorists the world over will be empowered and emboldened to launch new attacks against us and our allies.
Why not come right out and write the truth: the enemy making war against us is Islam? To learn what Shari'a rules about Jihad, read Book O, Chapter 9 of Reliance of the Traveller.
I have demonstrated, as have many other war analysts, that there is no such thing as a war against terror. The Global War on Terror does not exist. "Terror" is a tactic (see, e.g., What are the military options in Iraq? and Iraq and the War: A Military Reader's Digest). The war we are fighting is against men, cells, networks, regimes and peoples who embrace a hegemonic political ideology driven by traditional and authoritative Islamic law, or what is termed Shari'a. In our war against the Sharia-faithful, the strategic level encompasses all theaters of conflict and the interactions between them - Middle East, Africa, Europe, Pacific, Homeland, etc. Within the Middle East Theater, Iraq and Afghanistan constitute operational levels of war, while Baghdad, Fallujah, Kabul, and Kandahar are examples of areas of operation (AO) at the tactical level.
It almost goes without saying that, if a belligerent is on the strategic defensive not attacking his enemy's center of gravity to end the war, but is nevertheless on the operational/tactical offensive actively seeking combat within a limited AO, a high number of friendly casualties are going to result. But friendly casualties in a drawn out limited war environment brings us back to the fundamental formula of war and the MOTIVATION factor. If a belligerent's domestic support base, especially in representative polities, will not tolerate significant, continuing casualties inherent in strategic defensive limited war, that belligerent cannot afford to undertake a drawn out limited war. Vietnam, and now Iraq, leaves no doubt about the veracity of that statement.Got a clue yet? They are bleeding us to death, at least in our own perception and that of our media and politicians. Withdrawing from active defensive action, allowing Islam to inflict more casualties at home, without effective resistance is not the answer.
In Vietnam, the enemy's center of gravity was North Vietnam, and in Iraq it is in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. U.S. counterinsurgent operations in Vietnam were no more effective in their day than the surge will prove to be in Iraq. The lesson of Vietnam, and now Iraq, is that the strategic defensive or limited war, even when waged on the operational and tactical offensive, will only end if and when the enemy's motivation is impaired because its strategic CAPABILITY is unimpaired.Trimming around the trees won't produce satisfaction, we must mow the lawn. Cut off their supply lines and interdict their reinforcements. No sanctuaries!!!
After 9/11, the U.S. went to war in the same wrongheaded way we have gone to war in every instance since World War II. In spite of the president's ringing rhetoric about permitting our enemy no sanctuary, even to the point of engaging the enemy preemptively, the U.S. again donned the national security straitjacket of strategic defensive limited war (Limited War Doctrine: A Fatal Flaw). The operative assumption underlying limited war postulates that even the most ardent ideological fanatics will accept stalemate or defeat before employing every means of warfare available to them and will not continue the war notwithstanding the continued capability to wage war. History has not borne out this sanguine assumption.
The idea that the U.S. wouldn't employ its ultimate means (i.e., nuclear weapons) has come to also limit the U.S. ends sought in the conflict. In other words, our refusal to use the ultimate weapon must mean we are not committed to ultimate victory in the form of the decisive defeat of our enemy. Instead, we seek "regime change" and "democracy-building" rather than unconditional surrender of all combatants. Indeed, counterinsurgency is the effort to maintain and build a civil society in and around limited kinetic battles with an enemy we don't seek to destroy. Rather than setting our strategic goal as the destruction of the enemy's CAPABILITY to wage war, we seek to contain, co-opt, integrate, re-integrate, and engage politically all in an effort to reduce the enemy's MOTIVATION to continue the war.
All of the parties in the Iraq conflict know that the CAPABILITY of both stateless Jihadi groups and state-sponsored Jihadi groups is sustained by the logistical centers of gravity located in surrounding states. But the U.S. strategic end of fighting a limited, defensive war confines operations within the border of Iraq. (See, e.g., This is No Way to Win a War!)
We must jettison our Cold War national security thinking featuring limited war and instead realistically reassume our World War II strategic offensive posture.We should have nuked Tora Bora while Usama was still holed up there.
Insurgencies can be fought indefinitely if the re-supply lines remain open. This means that Coalition forces and their airborne assets are better utilized to prevent cross-border re-supply by striking depots in Iran than engaging in urban warfare at close quarters.This implies cutting off communication between Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq so that the men, material and money can no longer cross the border at will and unimpeded. This implies an aerial campaign against the training camps and supply staging areas in Iran & Syria.
The U.S. must ruthlessly use our technologically superior ground firepower and airpower to fight an asymmetrical war that plays to our strength -- technology, rather than being lured into close urban combat which capitalizes on the suicide commitment of the Shari'a-driven Jihadists.
Whether in conjunction with the current combat in Iraq or at some later date, the Jihadi-sponsoring states of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and possibly Pakistan will have to be confronted militarily and the Jihadi centers of gravity destroyed.
U.S. gun camera film showing Jihadists being vaporized by Western weapons and emphasizing Islamic impotence should flood the Internet and the TV airwaves.
Rigid control of our borders and immigration policy is a must to stave off the inevitable attempts to attack us from within.
Colonel Snodgrass published his article at Family Security Matters. That organization publishes many excellent articles, visit their site and sign up to receive their newsletter.Click this link to read the entire article.
Other Articles by Colonel Thomas Snodgrass (USAF Ret.)...
How to Defeat Shari'a-driven Islam's Army for Jihad Colonel Thomas Snodgrass (USAF, ret.)
Strategy, Tactics and Winning Wars (Part Two of Two) Col. Thomas Snodgrass (USAF, ret.)
Strategy, Tactics, and Winning Wars (Part One of Two) Col. Thomas Snodgrass (USAF, ret.)
Is there a viable military strategy for disarming Iran? Part Two - What is 'Air Control?' Colonel Thomas Snodgrass (USAF, ret.)
Is There a Viable Military Strategy for Disarming Iran? Conclusion of Part 1
Is There A Viable Military Strategy For Disarming Iran? Part One (of Two)
This Is No Way to Win a War! Part One (of Two)