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Fighting & Winning The Global War on Terror (WW IV)

a_majoor

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The Western counteroffensive against the Jihadis and their supporters will continue for another four years under the current leadership, so we should do some forcasting on how the war will develop.

While the Government sees WW IV primarily as an exercise by the United States and its "Coallition of the Willing" partners, the Jihadis want to take down the entire structure of Western Civilization, which does include us. Like it or not, we may become involved in a much bigger way than ISAF or OP APOLLO.

Some predictions:

1) Having secured firm beachheads in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States will want to pause to stabilize the situation in those nations and ensure the new democracies have some time to put down roots. Iran, and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia and the other autocratic regimes take this as a threat to their existing power structures and continue to pour money, resources and perhaps larger amounts of manpower (Arab League cadres?) into the fight to drive out the Americans and topple the fledgling democracies.

2) The United States will have to take action against Iran, either by formenting a revolution against the Theocracy (preferred), but perhaps direct military action if there is sufficient provocation.

3) Syria is also a supporting player against the Americans, but are better insulated against internal rebellion by a ruthless police state structure. The US might take limited military action to seal the border between Syria and Iraq.

4) North Korea is clearly a wild card. Their nuclear program will allow them the leverage to make direct threats against regional powers such as S Korea, Tiawan and Japan, as well as indirect threats against others, including the United States. (Selling nuclear weapons to rogue states and terrorist organizations seems to be a goal of the North Koreans).

5) The Jihadis will attempt to develop or re develop peripheral theaters in order to find safe havens and new recruiting bases. Since they clearly thrive in "failed states" like Somalia and Sudan, we may begin encountering them directly when involved in PSO's in these areas of the world.

6) Should things really slide for the Jihadis, the value of Canada as a recruiting, fund raising and staging base will decline, and they may lash out here both at the "Great Satan" (the United States), and at the "Little Satan" (Canada) as well for an apocalyptic exit from history.

Like it or not, we are players in this war (they declared war on us), the war affects the interests of all western powers, and how we are viewed in history may well be determined by what role we play in this war. I say we should begin to be proactive, rather than wait for an existing operation like ISAF or APOLLO go sour, or worse yet, be forced to confront the Jihadis here.

 

Guardian

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Interesting read!

Here's more:

- The Israelis will continue their settlement pullback plan. This will gain them points in the west, and Sharon's profile will rise. The PA will lose Arafat - either through death or incapacitation - and a power struggle will ensue. Hamas and Islamic Jihad will mount attacks on PA factions that do not see things their way. The Israelis will use the lack of a coherent negotiating partner to impose a de facto unilateral solution on the problem - the wall, etc. Eventually the PA will get its act together, but by the time they do their negotiating position will have weakened.

- UN efforts to stop Iran from developing WMD will prove fruitless. Russia and France will block effective action at the Security Council. The mullahs will use WMD - a matter of consensus in Iran - to "rally the troops around the flag". The mullahs' position will be strengthened; the moderates will lose influence. Iran threatens nuclear tests. The US, having lost its appetite for WMD-inspired wars, will seek a "black" solution, and may even mount cruise missile and air strikes, but an invasion is out.

- The Israelis, encouraged by their improved international standing (because of the Gaza pullout) and by the re-election of an Israel-friendly Bush administration, will mount another "Osirak" strike against Iran. They may violate Jordanian airspace - the Israeli government may arrange a tacit agreement with the Jordanians here - and Iraqi airspace (US assets won't shoot down Israeli aircraft). International condemnation will be swift and serious, just like before. Unlike before, the Israelis will fail to completely destroy Iran's capability....

Thoughts?
 
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dutchie

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Very interesting, both Guardian and A Majoor. The only real disagreement I have with your predictions is the assumption that the War in Iraq will be successful, that democratic and stable governments will be in place in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that Russia would oppose sanctions against Iran if WMD, particularly nuclear, were verified in Iran. Don't forget that Russia is dealing with it's own conflict with Islamo-fascists (I love that term) and probably wouldn't like nukes in the hands of a state that has a long history of supporting, and even directly participating in, terrorist attacks.

I predict that the war in Iraq will evolve into one of two things:

1-A total defeat. The US, Britain, and coalition forces are forced to concede that Iraq cannot be pacified. This will take years of heavy losses, of course. The US doesn't give up too easily.

2- The US assists a democratic Iraqi government in establishing itself and slowly withdraw it's forces. A coup occurs, and an Islamic state is the result. The US does not wish to rush into the cauldron again, and is forced to resort to pressuring the UN for action or using other methods to undermine the government. Iraq may become a real hotbed of terrorist activity, legitimizing military action by the US.

I think option 2 is more likely.

I am slightly more optomistic about Afghanistan, but I think it's way too early to predict democracy with any certainty. (not that my prediction about Iraq is a slam dunk either).
 

Goober

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Good topic, I don't want to distract from it, but what was World War III?
 

a_majoor

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I was careful not to predict victory in Iraq, only that the Americans have a firm beachhead and will make a concerted effort to support the establishment of a democratic government there. This sets the stage for the war expanding into Iran, Syria and possibly opening new theaters in the west coast of Africa.

Victory will not come easily, either in Iraq or winding up WW IV in general. In many ways this resembles the "Clash of Civilizations" predicted by Samuel Huntington, or for a really scary historical analogy, the 30 years war in Europe.

What does this mean for the Canadian Forces? We may encounter the Jihadis in unexpected contexts, so there needs to be a recognition that a force hostile to Western powers may insert itself into what we think of as "peacekeeping" or "Peace Support Operations". To the Jihadis, a CF PSO mission in the Sudan is another incursion by the "Crusaders", and they may decide to expend resources to stage another "Blackhawk Down" against us. (In the real Blackhawk down, Islamists did come from Sudan to Somalia to instruct the local warlords on techniques to use against the Americans).

We may also be dragged into the larger war by virtue of our active participation in ISAF or OP APOLLO. The suicide bomber in Kabul and the mine attack which killed Sgt Short could be tastes of what might happen. Our ships may be victimized like the USS Cole when pulling into Quatar (and the Persian Gulf is actually quite "tight" in Naval terms anyway).

An event in or from our homeland is always a possibility, and you can only imagine the American response if a terrorist event is traced back to Canada. I would not be surprised to find US Special Forces teams have been operating under cover here in Canada the last three years ensuring selected people suffered unexpected "accidents" to prevent that from happening.

A bit of brainstorming could help us to think about the possibilities and (maybe) prepare countermeasures to protect ourselves and our country.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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I'm pretty sure "Target 1" would be Parliment hill, I have very little doubt "they" would except that as a "reasonable facsimle" for the White House.
 
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dutchie

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I have always felt that the GWOT is exactly that: Global. Currently we are in Afghanistan, but I see a lot more on the horizon. I am willing to bet the first 3 years of this war will be the quietest for Canada, and that we will be a lot busier in the near future (Sudan, etc).

In short, I agree with you on all points....................except:

I would not be surprised to find US Special Forces teams have been operating under cover here in Canada the last three years ensuring selected people suffered unexpected "accidents" to prevent that from happening.

No chance. Not in a million years. This would be a direct assault to our sovereignty, not to mention the fact it violates numerous laws.
 
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banko

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Caesar said:
1-A total defeat. The US, Britain, and coalition forces are forced to concede that Iraq cannot be pacified. This will take years of heavy losses, of course. The US doesn't give up too easily.

2- The US assists a democratic Iraqi government in establishing itself and slowly withdraw it's forces. A coup occurs, and an Islamic state is the result. The US does not wish to rush into the cauldron again, and is forced to resort to pressuring the UN for action or using other methods to undermine the government. Iraq may become a real hotbed of terrorist activity, legitimizing military action by the US.

I think option 2 is more likely.

1 - So what happens in this instance? If coalition forces aren't successful in Iraq, that will just be "proof" that the americans can be beaten, and do you really think hostillities towards western powers will stop at the borders of Iraq? Problems right now are contained in Iraq, imagine what would happen if Iraqi forces actually built up momentum and gained support for their war in neighboring countries?


2 - Why would anyone think that if Iraq had a free democratic vote they wouldn't vote to put an Iranian-style gov't in place? Would the iraqi's vote for an Islamic Theocracy? Would they then team-up with Iran or other countries that are hostile to the west?
 

Acorn

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a_majoor said:
the Jihadis want to take down the entire structure of Western Civilization, which does include us.

I think their goals are somewhat less ambitions.

Some predictions:
2) The United States will have to take action against Iran, either by formenting a revolution against the Theocracy (preferred), but perhaps direct military action if there is sufficient provocation.

The preferred method requires patience that has not been evident in the current administration. In fact, US belligerence in the region has effectively played into the Mullahs' hands. The type of dissent that was evident a couple of years ago has effectively been stifled by the hard-liners. Direct US military intervention stands a good chance of having the opposite effect to that desired.

3) Syria is also a supporting player against the Americans, but are better insulated against internal rebellion by a ruthless police state structure. The US might take limited military action to seal the border between Syria and Iraq.

Action is already being taken with both Britain and the US applying pressure on Syria. The problem is that the "hard line Syrian government" is not so monolithic as is usually assumed. Young Bashar doesn't have the power base of his dad, and many of the old man's cohorts, who resent the jumped-up young president, are likely freelancing.

4) North Korea is clearly a wild card. Their nuclear program will allow them the leverage to make direct threats against regional powers such as S Korea, Tiawan and Japan, as well as indirect threats against others, including the United States. (Selling nuclear weapons to rogue states and terrorist organizations seems to be a goal of the North Koreans).

A western fear that Kim Jong-Il is so stupid as to sell nukes to a non-state actor, or to another state, does not make it so. What logic or evidence do you have to come to this conclusion? I would argue that, given the limited NK ability to produce nuclear weapons, they would be more inclined to husband that resource for their own use/protection. They do a thriving trade in other technologies.

5) The Jihadis will attempt to develop or re develop peripheral theaters in order to find safe havens and new recruiting bases. Since they clearly thrive in "failed states" like Somalia and Sudan, we may begin encountering them directly when involved in PSO's in these areas of the world.
We have encountered them in the past, and likely will encounter them again. However, they only "thrive" anywhere when they are allowed to do so. A failed state provides a good safe haven only if it is in complete anarchy, much as Somalia was, or has a sympathetic government, as with the Taliban. Sudan still has a government, and though they are playing a risky game by courting the Janjaweed, they are clearly using it for internal purposes. They do not want to poke the US in the eye, and so will not be likely to harbour the likes of international Jihadis.

6) Should things really slide for the Jihadis, the value of Canada as a recruiting, fund raising and staging base will decline, and they may lash out here both at the "Great Satan" (the United States), and at the "Little Satan" (Canada) as well for an apocalyptic exit from history.

I would argue that things don't need to slide much. I think it's only a matter of time before Canada suffers a terrorist attack. If we're lucky or good we will be able to prevent it or mitigate the damage. I do agree that we are players in this war, whether we like it or not. However, I think we need to examine the means to victory a little more closely. This is not the sort of war we can win by military means alone.

Acorn
 
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dutchie

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1 - So what happens in this instance? If coalition forces aren't successful in Iraq, that will just be "proof" that the Americans can be beaten, and do you really think hostilities towards western powers will stop at the borders of Iraq? Problems right now are contained in Iraq, imagine what would happen if Iraqi forces actually built up momentum and gained support for their war in neighboring countries?

Did I state that I wished the US would fail? No. I stated I THINK they will fail. I wish they would not have invaded the way they did, but I actually hope they succeed at this point. You should read my post more carefully before you assume my wishes.

2 - Why would anyone think that if Iraq had a free democratic vote they wouldn't vote to put an Iranian-style govt in place? Would the Iraqi's vote for an Islamic Theocracy? Would they then team-up with Iran or other countries that are hostile to the west?

What makes you think they want a US-style democracy? I'll accept an argument on the basis that Iraqis desire a Saddam-free government, but I'm not convinced that US-style democracy is the right solution. We have to get used to the idea that Democracy is not the solution to all totalitarian regimes. That theory fails to take into account the ethnic, cultural, religious, or political considerations within the target nation. Democracy is as foreign to them as their system is to us. We wouldn't accept their idea of utopia, what makes you think they should accept ours?

Don't forget that Saddam was a Sunni Muslim, but the majority of the country (and Iran, ironically) is made up of Shi'ite's (IIRC), who might as well be another race/religion. The Saddam Sunni's hate the Iranian Shi'ite's, and the Shi'ite's hate the Sunni's. A Shi'ite dominated country is more likely to persue an Iranian style if not Iranian friendly regime.
 

winchable

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Quote from: a_majoor on Today at 12:59:22
the Jihadis want to take down the entire structure of Western Civilization, which does include us.


I think their goals are somewhat less ambitions.

I saw that this morning and have to agree with Acorn after thinking about it for the day.
This would rule out any chance they have of converting anyone (Even Muhammad stopped just outside of Mecca) and it's an apocalyptic game which I'm pretty sure the general conesus is what they don't want.

Also I highly doubt even the US administration would risk any more large scale incursions into any Arab lands, for example a large scale assault in Saudi Arabia would effectively end any chance of ever having the peace we are supposed to be seeking.. And I believe there was a thread a little while back about asking when the means outweigh the end.

 
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banko

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Caesar said:
1 - So what happens in this instance? If coalition forces aren't successful in Iraq, that will just be "proof" that the Americans can be beaten, and do you really think hostilities towards western powers will stop at the borders of Iraq? Problems right now are contained in Iraq, imagine what would happen if Iraqi forces actually built up momentum and gained support for their war in neighboring countries?

Did I state that I wished the US would fail? No. I stated I THINK they will fail. I wish they would not have invaded the way they did, but I actually hope they succeed at this point. You should read my post more carefully before you assume my wishes.

2 - Why would anyone think that if Iraq had a free democratic vote they wouldn't vote to put an Iranian-style govt in place? Would the Iraqi's vote for an Islamic Theocracy? Would they then team-up with Iran or other countries that are hostile to the west?

What makes you think they want a US-style democracy? I'll accept an argument on the basis that Iraqis desire a Saddam-free government, but I'm not convinced that US-style democracy is the right solution. We have to get used to the idea that Democracy is not the solution to all totalitarian regimes. That theory fails to take into account the ethnic, cultural, religious, or political considerations within the target nation. Democracy is as foreign to them as their system is to us. We wouldn't accept their idea of utopia, what makes you think they should accept ours?

Don't forget that Saddam was a Sunni Muslim, but the majority of the country (and Iran, ironically) is made up of Shi'ite's (IIRC), who might as well be another race/religion. The Saddam Sunni's hate the Iranian Shi'ite's, and the Shi'ite's hate the Sunni's. A Shi'ite dominated country is more likely to persue an Iranian style if not Iranian friendly regime.

From my post, why do you think that I was accusing you of wishing the americans would fail? What I wanted to get across is that I hope that the americans DO NOT fail, because if they did, it would make the coalition forces look weak and the insurgents would gain momentum... your last post hypothesised that there was a possibillity of failure, I don't understand what makes you think that I am assuming you want them to fail, that would be bad for the rest of the world... If anything, I was agreeing with you that this would be bad...

My second point was to say that if Iraqis were able to vote, ie have more than one political party and choose the one that they like best, would they choose a party that favored Islamic law, etc. and end up using Iran's gov't as a model... Do the iraqi's want a US style democray? Probably not... What in my post makes it seem like I think the Iraqi's are salivating over the thought of democracy?

My big concern with Iraq is that they will have an election, things might go OK for a few years, and then a few elections down the road, they choose a party that wants to make Iraq the same as Iran... Exactly what you said:

"A Shi'ite dominated country is more likely to persue an Iranian style if not Iranian friendly regime."
 
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banko

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Yes, if you actually read my post you would have realised that long ago...

 
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banko

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So what do people think is going to happen with Iraq over the next few years? Will there be a lasting democracy like the US wants? After the US pulls out of Iraq, what else will they do in that region? A year ago George Bush gave a speech, in it he said:

"As changes come to the Middle Eastern region, those with power should ask themselves: Will they be remembered for resisting reform, or for leading it? In Iran, the demand for democracy is strong and broad, as we saw last month when thousands gathered to welcome home Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime in Teheran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy. (Applause.)"

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/11/20031106-2.html

Does that mean that world war IV is going to move to Iran?
 
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dutchie

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At the start of the war in Iraq, I would have said yes, they will invade Iran unless they heed quickly and completely. Now I think the US is going to be really apprehensive about invading another middle east state, especially an Islamic state so vehemently anti-West.

I think it will take overt threats or an outright attack by Iran for the US to invade unilaterally (IE-no UN approval).

Others?

 

Goober

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I agree with Caesar, and would like to add that I think the US will focus more on their economy this mandate. Could they afford another invasion?

Iran would be the same shitstorm Iraq is now, if not worse.
 

a_majoor

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While it is true that from a "practical" point of view, taking down the West is an impossible task for the Jihadis, "We will inconvenience Western interests!" is hardly a rallying cry for the troops. The Fatwas issued by Osama bin Laden and his friends all have an apocalyptic ring to them to inspire the Jihadis to do as much damage to us as possible, break our will and force us out of the fight. Think "Thousand Year Reich" and you will see what the Jihadi leaders and their supporters are trying to achieve with their new "Caliphate".

The Iraqi's are not likely to develop a US style democracy, Americans can hardly explain their own system to us. A stable consensual government can be achieved through various means, from a Republic, a Parliamentary system or even a Constitutional Monarchy, among others. This process will take many years to develop.

I doubt the Americans are doing much more than contingency planning right now, but since Iran is behind a lot of the insurgency, and has regional power and nuclear ambitions, it isn't beyond the bounds of possibility there will be some provocation that makes the US take direct military action.

North Korea is a wild card, like I said. They are quite free about selling ballistic missile technology, and as the A.Q. Khan story shows, selling nuclear weapons technology is attractive even if the rational plan would be to keep your nukes at home. I don't claim special knowledge of North Korean plans, but past behavior is one way of gauging future intent.

I wouldn't put big money on Special Forces teams operating in Canada, but it would not surprise me either, given the rather lukewarm response our Government has been giving WWIV. What other option would the US have if the Canadian government is ignoring the presence of terrorist actors in Canada; a B-2 strike on downtown Montreal?

President Bush has campaigned on developing the domestic economy by changing from Government entitlements to an "Ownership Society", but should the situation in the mid east deteriorate, or a terrorist event strike the US homeland again, all bets are off.
 
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