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How do we win the war against terror?

By drowningnotwaving ·
Here are some starting points:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Terror#Criticisms_of_the_.22War_on_Terrorism.22

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ID/5865710/

I'll leave it up to Max to redress any balance issue. I wasn't aiming to push one way or the other, just start a discussion if anyone cares.

But there is no doubt a huge element of people around the world that, for whatever reason (and I assume there are many), want to attack other people's basic way of life, their freedoms, destroy those ways and freedoms and change their enemy into beleiving in their own way.

I wasn't trying to establish a balance either way, just ask some questions:

How do we fight the war?

How do we win? Is that possible, or (unlike an absolute victory) should winning be measured in degrees of effectiveness?

Do traditional military methods play a part and if so what? Do they further the cause "for victory" or possibly against it?

At what point can diplomacy come in? Or is there effectively no point where it can prove useful, due to fundamental differences between the parties?

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Stay and Pray or not?

by jmgarvin In reply to How do we win the war aga ...

I think the bulk of the problem is this:

A) If we leave the entire Middle East will probably degrade into civil war
B) If we stay Iraq will probably degrade into civil war pushing Shite against Sunni across the Middle East

I think we need to do this:
A) Pull out the heavy weapons and maintain a presence as a police force
B) Respond and HELP the populous. Ensure that the shop keeper is able to keep his shop open and is not being harrassed...
C) Intellegence needs to be used more than brute force. Find out what is going on and start social engineering...

The problem is that you don't win over the populous with tanks, but with life-style....give them a good life and they'll be on board quickly.

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Difficult scenarios

by JamesRL In reply to Stay and Pray or not?

As much as everyone hated Saddam, his regime counterbalanced Iran. That is perhaps one of the reasons that the Arab partners in the first Gulf War stopped short of taking over Iraq. Now until Iraq rebuilds its army, there is a power vacuum.

As far as civil war in Iraq goes, I'm afraid its already started and it will continue with or without the presense of the US. Indeed, a couple of things could happen. Some foreign insurgents may go home or they may decide to take sides in the civil war. There is already Sunni versus Shia violence going on. Today 150 people were kidnapped in broad daylight from a government ministry.

There aren't nearly enough soldiers to be a police force. The only hope is to get enough Iraqis trained to do it themselves, but this has proven problematic.

Social engineering on a national scale? This has been tried before and failed. Certainly providing jobs will help lower the number of insurgents, but not eliminate the hardcore element.

I'm not for a moment suggesting I have any wonderful ideas for a way forward.

James

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Change tactics

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How do we win the war aga ...

The terrorist's advantage is mobility.

Any time they sit still and try to defend or to attack en masse they get creamed.
So they don't.

Stop attacking their support base ( the local population) subvert them. Concentrate on cutting off their resources suppliers, money et al.
They will attempt to extort what they need to continue the fight from the softest targets, that's the people they are hiding amongst.

If there's an Ali every street spying on them because they robbed him to buy bullets, you just nailed their foot to the floor big style. Then you can send in the marines and have them stick a large combat boot up their asses.

Be aware it will take a while and you will get fools calling for direct action, but every time we make the local population's life harder, we makes the terrorist's easier.

Once they have to admit so called armed struggle can't win, then maybe you can have a dialog.

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Fight the right war, and fight it right

by DelbertPGH In reply to How do we win the war aga ...

Winning the war on terror... well, first, we have to stop confusing the war on Iraq with the war on terror.

Disengaging ourselves from Iraq will be tricky, because we can create even bigger problems if we screw that up. I believe we need to disengage primarily because the Iraq government doesn't seem to be taking its political role seriously, and half the armed forces and police of Iraq are infiltrated by death squads who settle Sunni/Shiite religious disputes in their spare time. We can win every street fight we get into, but we can't see an end to it. It's not a formula where we can win. We need to back off and let the Iraqis settle it in their own way, which means until they are tired of seeing their blood pour out. We'll probably have to go back in at some point in the future, too. The British had to intervene five times between WW1 and WW2.

To win the war on terror, or any war, you need objectives that match your problem and lead to a desirable end condition. In the war on terror, the opposition is not a country, but it sometimes takes cover behind a state (like in Afghanistan) or is supported by a state under the table. Most of our problem comes from Islamic crazy young men who feel the mood of the times, and feel they have to get out and fight enemies; and a mood in Islam in general, that says their religion is under attack, and extreme reactions are blessed by God. Until the youth of Islam (the most popular religion in the world, I believe) cool down, and get their minds off religion and armed struggle, we'll have a problem.

Our objectives (I say) are to outlast this movement, destroy effective fighting cells whereever they develop, protect ourselves, and to try to speed up the end of the movement. It will take 20 or 30 or 50 years or more, because this is a civilizational problem, not something you can **** apart with enough shots in exactly the right places. You can't shoot all the young men in all the Muslim countries. We need the national will to keep up this slow long fight; a military suited to the fighting requirements; spies and intelligence machinery; allies and international support; and the ideals and moral courage that made America a leader that the rest of world civilization could get behind, as we generally did through the 20th century.

But, as long as the war in Iraq is running hot, we have more opposition and more troubles in fighting the real war on terror.

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There is no real "War on Terror"

by betterhands In reply to How do we win the war aga ...

i don't remember who said it, but the point was brought up that "terror" in this case is a tactic--like "ambush". you can't win the war on terror just like you couldn't win a war on ambush. hopefully one day, followers of the big 3 (not talking auto companies) will realize how intangible the concept of spirituality really is and that there is no dude up in the sky hoping that one particular race of people get a certain tract of land they feel was promised to them. thousands of years of blood and anguish for something so silly.

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The first reference to Islamo-Fascism in these threads. . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to There is no real "War on ...

....was posted by our wise and intelligent friend, ProtiusX.

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=170259&messageID=1736233

I, too, have always maintained that the "war of terrorism" should have always been called the "war against Islamo-Fascism", because one cannot wage a war against a tactic (terrorism), but rather a clearly defined enemy. (Many people object to my terminology.)

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=193542&messageID=1997831

My guess is that President Bush may have considered such a thing, but in order to maintain some semblance of geopolitical stability and not appear as though he was embarking on a religious crusade, he chose "war on terror" instead. Personally speaking, I think he made a mistake by doing so.

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Terror, not Islam

by DelbertPGH In reply to The first reference to Is ...

The problem with Islam is not fascism. People like to call it that, but religious lunacy and fascism live on different streets. Even though, in the end, both their sponsors jabber loud nonsense and shoot people in the heads.

Our struggle is against terror. It's not terror as a tactic, but terror directed against us as the main means of combat, by stateless groups of fanatics. If it was coming from one or two countries, it would be easy to fight. We slapped down Afghanistan pretty well, and took care of our problem that they nursed in their back yard. Most of the terrorists will be harder to locate and isolate, though.

Identifying your problem as "Islamo Fascism" is a way of shutting off thought. (Like, "if you hated Hitler, then you gotta hate these new fascists, too.") I don't think we should have any problem with primitive religious punks like the Taliban, so long as they don't mess with us. Turn their country back over to them, let 'em run the place like a medieval jail. If their people want it differently, they can throw the Taliban out themselves. What do we believe we're going to do, change the way 30 million people think and live day to day?

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Terror is a tactic

by maxwell edison In reply to Terror, not Islam

"We're not fighting a war on "terrorism." Terrorism is merely a tactic of war. We're also not fighting a war against Islam. It's time to recognize just whom we are fighting, what we are up against. The enemy is Islamo-fascism. And that's just another way to say the enemy is fascism."

- Joseph Farah

(Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. His latest book is "Taking America Back." He also edits the weekly online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.)

Article: What I mean by 'Islamo-fascism'

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31315

It sounds to me like it's you who is "shutting off thought", not me. I'm also, obviously, not alone in my thinking.

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Sorry, don't get my news from crackpot boutiques like WND

by DelbertPGH In reply to Terror is a tactic

If Farah's facts were at all reliable (factual facts) they would have been repeated ad nauseum by Bush, Rumsfield, Rice, etc. This "Yossef Bodansky" must be some unreliable guy, like Chalabi's Curveball source.

Fascism is more about national pride. Fascism usually works against religion, or any other source of power in civil life, unless it is seen as some native expression of the Volk (and the preachers don't make trouble for the state.)

Calling religion based on God and religion based on the state the same thing, fascism, is not good thinking.

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Typical Ploy

by maxwell edison In reply to Sorry, don't get my news ...

When you can't argue against a position, you attack the source. Regardless of any "source", it's a widely-used term by a lot of people. Besides, I didn't post the link for a "source", per se, but rather to provide an interesting and well-written article on the subject. How about addressing the article, not the "source"? To do any less is to put forth a weak argument.

Moreover, Fascism will have many different definitions (as it should), more than your "narrow" Nazi application.

In this case, and the issue that started our discussion, a clear enemy should be both defined and identified, and "terror" does not even come close.

It's interesting to see, however, that you agree with President Bush in this case, while I disagree.

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