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The Islamic Insurgency

Infanteer

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As I've frequently highlighted in posts around these forums, I believe "War on Terror" is a misnomer for the current conflict and that a better framework is to view it as a global Islamic Insurgency - as I've pointed out, this is a view put forth by CIA analyst Michael Sheuer in his book Imperial Hubris.   Indeed, a good portion of the enemy structure consists of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda (which is probably better termed as a "Terrorist NGO"), but it is important to remember that terrorism is a tactic, one which will never be defeated, and that it is merely one weapon (albeit a dominant one in the past) of AQ and other loosely connected groups within the Insurgency - they have other methods for achieving their goals, and will use them in the conflict with the West.

Anyways, I've come across the Blog of Mr John Robb found here at http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com, who seems to be very astute observer (IMHO) of the current conflict which he has termed a "Global Guerilla War" (hence, an global Islamic Insurgency).   Good thoughts to go through and examine, here is a few:

First, Al Qaeda is the "Lead Vocals" of the Insurgency, and is "bannering" its anti-Western jihad; here is an estimate at their grand strategy by an Islamic scholar (which is bound to be a little different than a Western outlook):

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/05/al_qaedas_grand.html

05/07/2004
AL QAEDA'S GRAND STRATEGY: SUPERPOWER BAITING
What is al Qaeda's grand strategy? An in depth interview with Saad al-Faqih, an expert on al Qaeda, provides some insight into this. Dr. al-Faqih (picture) highlights the role of Dr. Zawahiri in evolving the strategic thinking of bin Laden:

Zawahiri impressed upon Bin Laden the importance of understanding the American mentality. The American mentality is a cowboy mentality-- if you confront them with their identity theoretically and practically they will react in an extreme manner. In other words, America with all its resources and establishments will shrink into a cowboy when irritated successfully. They will then elevate you and this will satisfy the Muslim longing for a leader who can successfully challenge the West. Zawahiri advised Bin Laden to forget about the 12 page statement as nobody had read it and instead issue a short statement identifying every American as a target. Even though this was controversial from an Islamic perspective, Zawahiri argued on pragmatic grounds that it had to be sanctioned. The statement in February 1998, which was only 3 or 4 lines, effectively sanctioned shedding the blood of every American.

This decision resulted in the east African embassy attacks of 1998. The result of these attacks were as follows:

Zawahiri had prophesised correctlyâ ”the Americans over-reacted by bombing Afghanistan and Sudan and consequently shifted the focus of blame away from al-Qaeda. If the Americans had not over-reacted to that attack they would have won a great moral victory. Clinton himself identified Bin Laden as the enemy and, in effect, delivered a hero to the Muslims. Before the embassy attacks only a few intellectuals and people with scholastic and practical interests in Jihad remembered Bin Laden but after the attack Bin Laden was transformed into a popular hero. The Americans thereafter persisted in turning Bin Laden into an obsession. The immediate effect of this was that thousands of Muslims travelled to Afghanistan. I was told that before the Kenya and Tanzania bombings hardly one or two people from the Arab countries would make their way to Afghanistan in any given month but after the bombings almost ten people would make their way there on a daily basis....

He goes on to explain the motivation for 9/11 and the result of the American reaction:

The next stage involved initiating a full scale polarization between Muslims and America. Therefore, even if al-Qaeda disappears there would be a huge interest in fighting the U.S. and its allies. This underpinned the planning of the 9/11 attacks. The purpose was not to kill thousands of people. Nobody saw the attacks as an assault against buildings and people, almost everyone saw it as a symbolic action. And everybody is agreed that the world changed after 9/11. The way the attacks were orchestrated had a lot to do with thisâ ”those young boys came with nothing and only relied on their will, secrecy, devotion and great perseverance. How on earth could 19 young men with box cutters wreak such humiliation on the sole Super Power of the world? The answer is linked to the â Å“asymmetrical warfareâ ? that I will address later. The 9/11 attacks forced America into a cosmic battle with Muslims. Of course America claims it is waging war against terrorism but actually Muslims perceive this war as an unprecedented assault on Islam. Ultimately the real issue here is the perception of Muslims and the vast majority of Muslims around the world feel besieged by America.

The result of this, according to al-Faqih will be internal turmoil in America and its eventual adoption of an isolationist policy:

Now strategically I think America has not only lost but it is likely to vanish. It has started a campaign which has forced the majority of Muslims against it. But of course tactically it has scored major gains. A lot of these so-called strategic analysts mistake these tactical gains for strategic leverage. The point is that these people are not strategic analysts because they never bring the historical, ideological and social dimensions into their calculations. They only consider political and military factors....

There are many people in America who want to tackle the matter in a much more intelligent manner but they have been silenced by this pervasive McCarthyism. There are people that are very tired with this cowboy attitude. Once the next attack occurs they are likely to say that Bush has had two years of this cosmic battle against terrorism and we ended up with an even bigger attack. Now is the time to try a different approach. Now of course the right wingers, the Zionists and the arms lobby will refuse to give ground and then a clash inside America is likely to ensue.


Posted by John Robb on 05/07/2004 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

As well, it seems Robb is a follower (like myself) of the theories of USAF Colonel John Boyd, and focuses the Insurgency through the Physical, Mental, and Moral lens of conflict:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/05/journal_boyd_on.html

05/08/2004
BOYD ON AL QAEDA'S GRAND STRATEGY
Col. John Boyd (he died in 1997) is considered one of America's best military thinkers. His thinking dramatically influenced the plan of attack in the first gulf war. Boyd's thinking also serves as a good basis for a deeper understanding 4GW (fourth generation warfare).

Grand strategy, according to Boyd, is a quest to isolate your enemy's (a nation-state or a global terrorist network) thinking processes from connections to the external/reference environment. This process of isolation is essentially the imposition of insanity on a group. To wit: any organism that operates without reference to external stimuli (the real world), falls into a destructive cycle of false internal dialogues. These corrupt internal dialogues eventually cause dissolution and defeat.

The dynamic of Boyd's grand strategy is to isolate your enemy across three essential vectors (physical, mental, and moral), while at the same time improving your connectivity across those same vectors. Here's more detail:

Physical isolation is accomplished by severing communications both to the outside world (ie. allies) and internal audiences (ie. between branches of command and between the command organization and its supporters).

Mental isolation is done through the introduction of ambiguous information, novel situations, and by operating at a tempo an enemy cannot keep up with. A lack of solid information impedes decision making.

Moral isolation is achieved when an enemy improves its well being at the expense of others (allies) or violates rules of behavior they profess to uphold (standards of conduct). Moral rules are a very important reference point in times of uncertainty. When these are violated, it is very hard to recover.

Our progress so far
When we evaluate our progress in the war on terrorism based on Boyd's measures of isolation, the following is seen:

Physical isolation. America has been physically isolated from many of its allies due to its rush to war in Iraq. It also has demonstated (via the slow process by which news of Abu Ghraib reached the President and Congress) that internal communications have been disrupted. The destruction of al Qaeda's training camps and visible communications systems have resulted in a degree of isolation. However, the network-based organizational structure of al Qaeda and its ability to manipulate the media to send messages to supporters has mitigated this effort.

Mental isolation. The rapid emergence of new threats (al Sadr, al Zarqawi, and Fallujah) and the myriad of geographically dispersed attacks that require response (from Spain to Saudi Arabia -- from Basra to Mosel) have served to isolate the US on the mental plane. It is also very difficult, due to ambiguity of information, to determine who the enemy is (this is true in Iraq and across the world from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia). The bulk of the early effort to continuously attack al Qaeda has subsided as the US concentrates on Iraq -- our early gains have been squandered.

Moral isolation. The excesses at the Abu Ghraib prison demonstrate a classic violation of moral codes of conduct. The evidence indicates that the US intentionally (in that there was a climate of urgency that permitted it) violated these rules due to desire to gain information needed to fight guerrilla groups in Iraq. Another example of moral isolation is America's insistance on the right to self-defense, at the expense of the rest of the world. There has not been any evidence that al Qaeda sponsored operations have drastically violated any internal moral codes. However, the proliferation of groups associated with al Qaeda have resulted in attacks (for example: attacks on Shiites in Pakistan and Iraq that are against al Qaeda policy) may serve to isolate al Qaeda if their actions are adopted by the main organization.

A vision statement for this conflict
From this analysis it is clear that the US is, as the result of this war, more isolated than our enemy. However, Boyd suggests that the best corrective action is for the US to articulate a grand unifying vision for this war. A "with us or against us" approach and unilateral military action is not productive (it drives isolation). A better vision statement (we should have a contest for this):

The United States will commit all of the resources at its disposal to help nations everywhere preserve those values that we all hold as vital to our future success."

Posted by John Robb on 05/08/2004 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

As well, Robb looks at the role of terrorism as a tool within the Islamic Insurgency's belt:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/10/terror_as_a_tec.html

10/30/2004
TERRORISM AS A TECHNIQUE
Terrorism is a technique of warfare grounded on the theories of fourth generation warfare and Boyd's framework of pscyhological conflict. As a technique of war, it is blunt weapon that directly assaults the enemy's society and the minds of its decision makers by killing its citizens. The wanton and random nature of the technique provides much of its strength and its weakness. Further, the method is limited to three vectors by which its effectiveness can be improved. These include:


Scale improvements. Bigger attacks, better results.

Symbol selection. The more dear the symbol atttacked, the greater the impact.

Extended reach. The deeper inside a society's comfort zone a strike is made, the better the results.

Terrorism hits the wall
Al Qaeda adopted terrorism as its method of warfare when it first began operations. It improved the effectiveness of its strikes by pushing along the vectors outlined above. The end result of this effort was the attack on 9/11. That attack was the apex of conventional terrorism, only nuclear terrorism could exceed it. Without a nuclear alternative, terrorism is declining as a technique. There is reason to believe, based on strategic and theoretical analysis, that nuclear terrorism isn't likely to arrive in any relevant time period. If al Qaeda did have a nuke, it would have used it in that attack rather than method it chose. Additionally, the current emphasis on nuclear non-proliferation makes it very difficult to obtain one. Left without this alternative, terrorism is in decline due to the following (all of which are acutely felt by al Qaeda and affiliated groups):

Diminished returns. People become inured to terrorism the more it is used.

The comparision to 9/11. All attacks, when held up in comparison to 9/11, pale.

Indecisive results. While 9/11 was able to gain a victory within Boyd's framework, it was unable to gain a decisive result that achieved the stated goals of al Qaeda. As a result of this perceived failure, al Qaeda intentionally opted for a rural insurgency in Afghanistan (that never materialized due to the emergence of a stable, decentralized, narco state alternative).

Post Terrorism Conflict
As a result of these factors, terrorism is in deep decline as a method of warfare. It won't disappear, particularly given its historical momentum and the fragmentation of the opposition's effort. However, it is in the process of being replaced by a more effective alternative mainly through a highly decentralized and innovative process of development in Iraq that has stripped al Qaeda of its control of the movement (despite its attempt to integrate Zaraqawi into its command and funding system). Within that conflict, global guerrilla warfare is on the rise. This method of warfare differs from from terrorism and classic guerrilla warfare because it attacks systems as a means of decisively undermining the psychology of its opponents. Its elements include:

Infrastructure sabotage.

Market disruption.

State failure and deligitimization.

Epilogue
To the global guerrillas in Iraq, it may appear that they are participating in classic terrorism or guerrilla warfare since this new method of warfare draws on a similar tactical approach. However, the results of their efforts point in another direction. Almost all of the attacks in Iraq can be aggregated into categories of system attack that lay waste to the processes of globalization and state power. In contrast to terrorism, global guerrilla warfare is a greenfield technique -- in that it never suffers diminishing reutrns (I will post more on this later). It also converts the inevitable civilian casualties that often over time detract from terror's effectiveness into a more acceptable "collatoral damage" -- people that are killed while near valid targets (this is another lesson learned from the US military). The net result is an effort that is likely going to be decisive within Boyd's framework. It will win the war in Iraq (unless there is immediate action to counter it). It will also be a method of warfare that will be exported around the world.

Posted by John Robb on 10/30/2004 at 05:41 AM | Permalink

Finally, here is his discussion of the Long-Tail theory, which I brought up in another thread, and how it relates to the wide-range of groups within the Insurgency; basically AQ is gaining ground as a legitimate and effective war-fighting organization due to globalizing trends.   This falls in line with Martin Van Crevald's theory in The Transformation of War and the The Rise and Decline of the State:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2005/03/journal_the_dar.html

03/18/2005
THE DARK SIDE OF THE LONG TAIL

Chris Anderson has done some excellent work on the economics of the Long Tail (weblog and presentation).   The concept of the Long Tail is that globalization, new tools of production, and the Internet have made it possible to radically increase the supply and demand of niche products (in certain product categories).   In traditional markets, based on scarcity of shelf space and limited product diversity, the vast majority of revenues are derived from a very limited number of products.   In long tail markets, a diversity of products made by new entrants (via newly democratized tools of production and globalization), in combination with unlimited low cost shelf space (the Internet), and an accelerated word of mouth (the Internet) have radically expanded the supply curve.   Additionally, this newly diverse supply has energized demand for niche products that meet specific needs.  

In a traditional market, hit products often get 80% of the revenue.   In a long tail market, hit products get 50% of the revenue while the other 50% is shared by a plethora of niche producers.   Niche demand and supply shifts the revenue to the tail.

The long tail has applicability to my work here on Global Guerrillas.   Traditionally, warfare (the ability to change society through violence) has been limited to nation-states (except in rare cases).   States had a monopoly on violence.   The result was a limited, truncated distribution of violence (a power law).   That monopoly is on the skids due to three trends:

A democratization of the tools of warfare.   Niche producers (for example: gangs) are made possible by the dislocation of globalization.   All it takes to participate is a few men, some boxcutters, and a plane (as an example of simple tools combined with leverage from ubiquitous economic infrastructure).
An amplification of the damage caused by niche producers of warfare.   The magic of global guerrilla systems disruption which turns inexpensive attacks into major economic and social events.
The acceleration of word of mouth.   New groups can more easily find/train recruits, convey their message to a wide audience, and find/coordinate their activities with other groups (allies).
The result:   a long tail has developed.   New niche producers of violence have flourished.   Demand for the results these niche suppliers can produce has also radically increased.   Big concepts (such as a struggle between Islam and the US), not championed by states, has supercharged niche suppliers like al Qaeda and its clones.   In some cases, the niche producer creates its own demand (see Transnational Gangs) or through its activites create demand for other niche producers (see Primary Loyalties).   I have taken liberties with a very small portion Chris' presentation to describe how the tail developed (Download warfare's_long_tail.ppt ).  

This new distribution shows a balance of power between nation-states (and their proxies) and non-state producers (global guerrillas).   In warfare, a 50/50 distribution of power is the recipe for an epochal conflict.   As always, please feel free to post a critique and thereby improve my effort here.

Posted by John Robb on 03/18/2005 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

Anyways, there is alot more on the site to go through if you are interested.

Cheers,
Infanteer
 

Dare

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Infanteer said:
As I've frequently highlighted in posts around these forums, I believe "War on Terror" is a misnomer for the current conflict and that a better framework is to view it as a global Islamic Insurgency - as I've pointed out, this is a view put forth by CIA analyst Michael Sheuer in his book
As I've frequently pointed out, in response, the idea of "Islamic Insurgency" is the misnomer, and is considerably misguided and narrowly focused. We are not at war against Islamic insurgents. We are fighting some Islamic insurgents, in some countries. For the expressed purpose of removing the threat of someone blowing up one of our cities (Terrorism). We are not fighting with the goal of removing Islamic insurgents world wide. Neo-Nazis are joining the cause. The Far left is joining the cause. They are uniting. Not with the expressed goal of an Islamic world state, but with the goal of our destruction. I do not understand why you continue to try and sell this completely inaccurate name and doctrine.
Imperial Hubris.  Indeed, a good portion of the enemy structure consists of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda (which is probably better termed as a "Terrorist NGO"), but it is important to remember that terrorism is a tactic, one which will never be defeated, and that it is merely one weapon (albeit a dominant one in the past) of AQ and other loosely connected groups within the Insurgency - they have other methods for achieving their goals, and will use them in the conflict with the West.
Why do we have to call them NGO's? Do you believe that many of them do not get funding/training/equipment from foreign governments? Why do you keep going through all the trouble to redefine our enemy? Terrorism is not just any "tool". It's akin to using a chainsaw for surgery on someone who doesn't even need surgery. It's just plain stupid, and so there should be no problem outlawing that tactic. Just as we have outlawed many tactics that violate our decency.
Zawahiri impressed upon Bin Laden the importance of understanding the American mentality. The American mentality is a cowboy mentality-- if you confront them with their identity theoretically and practically they will react in an extreme manner. In other words, America with all its resources and establishments will shrink into a cowboy when irritated successfully. They will then elevate you and this will satisfy the Muslim longing for a leader who can successfully challenge the West. Zawahiri advised Bin Laden to forget about the 12 page statement as nobody had read it and instead issue a short statement identifying every American as a target. Even though this was controversial from an Islamic perspective, Zawahiri argued on pragmatic grounds that it had to be sanctioned. The statement in February 1998, which was only 3 or 4 lines, effectively sanctioned shedding the blood of every American.
"Shrink into a cowboy when irritated". Oh please..
This decision resulted in the east African embassy attacks of 1998. The result of these attacks were as follows:

Zawahiri had prophesised correctlyâ ”the Americans over-reacted by bombing Afghanistan and Sudan and consequently shifted the focus of blame away from al-Qaeda. If the
Americans had not over-reacted to that attack they would have won a great moral victory. Clinton himself identified Bin Laden as the enemy and, in effect, delivered a hero to the Muslims. Before the embassy attacks only a few intellectuals and people with scholastic and practical interests in Jihad remembered Bin Laden but after the attack Bin Laden was transformed into a popular hero. The Americans thereafter persisted in turning Bin Laden into an obsession. The immediate effect of this was that thousands of Muslims travelled to Afghanistan. I was told that before the Kenya and Tanzania bombings hardly one or two people from the Arab countries would make their way to Afghanistan in any given month but after the bombings almost ten people would make their way there on a daily basis....
Overreaction.. when really it was obviously an under-reaction when considering what happened 3 years later in Afghanistan and the Sudan. This is just more backwards thinking.
He goes on to explain the motivation for 9/11 and the result of the American reaction:

The next stage involved initiating a full scale polarization between Muslims and America. Therefore, even if al-Qaeda disappears there would be a huge interest in fighting the U.S. and its allies. This underpinned the planning of the 9/11 attacks. The purpose was not to kill thousands of people. Nobody saw the attacks as an assault against buildings and people, almost everyone saw it as a symbolic action. And everybody is agreed that the world changed after 9/11. The way the attacks were orchestrated had a lot to do with thisâ ”those young boys came with nothing and only relied on their will, secrecy, devotion and great perseverance. How on earth could 19 young men with box cutters wreak such humiliation on the sole Super Power of the world? The answer is linked to the â Å“asymmetrical warfareâ ? that I will address later. The 9/11 attacks forced America into a cosmic battle with Muslims. Of course America claims it is waging war against terrorism but actually Muslims perceive this war as an unprecedented assault on Islam. Ultimately the real issue here is the perception of Muslims and the vast majority of Muslims around the world feel besieged by America.
Humiliation.. I have yet to talk to an American that was "humiliated" by 9/11. Infuriated? Sure. Maybe they just "shrank" back to their "cowboy" mentality. The ultimate mistake in this "logic" is that the only real issue is the perception of Muslims. Bzzt. Wrong answer.
The result of this, according to al-Faqih will be internal turmoil in America and its eventual adoption of an isolationist policy:

Now strategically I think America has not only lost but it is likely to vanish. It has started a campaign which has forced the majority of Muslims against it. But of course tactically it has scored major gains. A lot of these so-called strategic analysts mistake these tactical gains for strategic leverage. The point is that these people are not strategic analysts because they never bring the historical, ideological and social dimensions into their calculations. They only consider political and military factors....
I would love to hear how this person "strategically" thinks America has lost and will "vanish". Did Al Qaeda employ David Blaine? Or does he think that all Muslims will (just as magically) unite and destroy the USA? I have never known an analyst that does not consider historical/ideological/social constructs for their evaluations.
There are many people in America who want to tackle the matter in a much more intelligent manner but they have been silenced by this pervasive McCarthyism. There are people that are very tired with this cowboy attitude. Once the next attack occurs they are likely to say that Bush has had two years of this cosmic battle against terrorism and we ended up with an even bigger attack. Now is the time to try a different approach. Now of course the right wingers, the Zionists and the arms lobby will refuse to give ground and then a clash inside America is likely to ensue.
*Cough* McCarthyism.  ::) It's funny, I have seen Sheuer on virtually every single network (of course, with the moderators/hosts generally nodding in approval). I suppose he's being "silenced" by the evil cowboys and Zionists. Oh yeah, and the military industrial complex. Of course, we wouldn't want to call it that. Nor would we want to say Crusaders and Jews. It's very revealing that this guy wants us to "give ground" when we are next attacked. Think about it.
Our progress so far
When we evaluate our progress in the war on terrorism based on Boyd's measures of isolation, the following is seen:

Physical isolation. America has been physically isolated from many of its allies due to its rush to war in Iraq. It also has demonstated (via the slow process by which news of Abu Ghraib reached the President and Congress) that internal communications have been disrupted. The destruction of al Qaeda's training camps and visible communications systems have resulted in a degree of isolation. However, the network-based organizational structure of al Qaeda and its ability to manipulate the media to send messages to supporters has mitigated this effort.
There was never any "rush" to war with Iraq. One event apparently proves that the internal communications of the US Government are disrupted, yet us taking out many forms of communication along with many of their bases is just a "degree" of isolation. Nonsense.
Mental isolation. The rapid emergence of new threats (al Sadr, al Zarqawi, and Fallujah) and the myriad of geographically dispersed attacks that require response (from Spain to Saudi Arabia -- from Basra to Mosel) have served to isolate the US on the mental plane. It is also very difficult, due to ambiguity of information, to determine who the enemy is (this is true in Iraq and across the world from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia). The bulk of the early effort to continuously attack al Qaeda has subsided as the US concentrates on Iraq -- our early gains have been squandered.
I do not see how the existence of new threats serves to isolate the US. Nor do I see how an enemy that blends with the population isolates the US either. Nor do I see how furthering a different (yet not entirely unrelated war) isolates the US. None of those things alone will accomplish this task. One needs external stimulae, as was provided by our Government along with several of the other UN faithful countries and Oil for Food program beneficiaries.
Moral isolation. The excesses at the Abu Ghraib prison demonstrate a classic violation of moral codes of conduct. The evidence indicates that the US intentionally (in that there was a climate of urgency that permitted it) violated these rules due to desire to gain information needed to fight guerrilla groups in Iraq. Another example of moral isolation is America's insistance on the right to self-defense, at the expense of the rest of the world. There has not been any evidence that al Qaeda sponsored operations have drastically violated any internal moral codes. However, the proliferation of groups associated with al Qaeda have resulted in attacks (for example: attacks on Shiites in Pakistan and Iraq that are against al Qaeda policy) may serve to isolate al Qaeda if their actions are adopted by the main organization.
Naked man pyramids and box standing must have isolated America far more than beheading videos. Al Qaeda is winning!! Just ask this guy..

Americas insistance on the right to self-defense is moral isolation? Hm. That's interesting. I wonder what he thinks about Canadas insistance on the right to self-defense, as well?
A vision statement for this conflict
From this analysis it is clear that the US is, as the result of this war, more isolated than our enemy. However, Boyd suggests that the best corrective action is for the US to articulate a grand unifying vision for this war. A "with us or against us" approach and unilateral military action is not productive (it drives isolation). A better vision statement (we should have a contest for this):
So from this bit we are to believe everything he says and fully accept that 1) indeed his analysis is "clear" and 2) Boyd himself almost certainly would approve.

With us or against us is the only approach in the War against Terrorism. As if one declares neutrality and safe haven to both sides, they grant a breeding ground to our enemy. And thus fell the Taliban. If 50 other countries were to grant safe haven to terrorist groups aimed exclusively at Canada (and we were capable), we certainly would adopt the exact same policy.
The United States will commit all of the resources at its disposal to help nations everywhere preserve those values that we all hold as vital to our future success."
That's exactly what they are doing. Without this "clear" analysis.

10/30/2004
TERRORISM AS A TECHNIQUE
Terrorism is a technique of warfare grounded on the theories of fourth generation warfare and Boyd's framework of pscyhological conflict. As a technique of war, it is blunt weapon that directly assaults the enemy's society and the minds of its decision makers by killing its citizens. The wanton and random nature of the technique provides much of its strength and its weakness. Further, the method is limited to three vectors by which its effectiveness can be improved. These include:


Scale improvements. Bigger attacks, better results.

Symbol selection. The more dear the symbol atttacked, the greater the impact.

Extended reach. The deeper inside a society's comfort zone a strike is made, the better the results.

Terrorism hits the wall
Al Qaeda adopted terrorism as its method of warfare when it first began operations. It improved the effectiveness of its strikes by pushing along the vectors outlined above. The end result of this effort was the attack on 9/11. That attack was the apex of conventional terrorism, only nuclear terrorism could exceed it. Without a nuclear alternative, terrorism is declining as a technique. There is reason to believe, based on strategic and theoretical analysis, that nuclear terrorism isn't likely to arrive in any relevant time period. If al Qaeda did have a nuke, it would have used it in that attack rather than method it chose. Additionally, the current emphasis on nuclear non-proliferation makes it very difficult to obtain one. Left without this alternative, terrorism is in decline due to the following (all of which are acutely felt by al Qaeda and affiliated groups):
Terrorism is on a decline, is it? I wonder what he bases that on. I also wonder what "strategic and theoretical analysis" he bases his *opinion* that nuclear terrorism isn't likely to arrive in any relevant time period (what *is* a relevant time period for nuclear terrorism, exactly?). I see he apparently knows Al Qaeda inside and out to know that if they had a nuke they would instantly use it. No one seems to be able to predict Al Qaeda, but he knows. Impressive.  ::)
Diminished returns. People become inured to terrorism the more it is used.
And yet, there are still bomb making factories in the Palestinian territories and suicide bombings. The only wall terrorism has hit is the giant one Israel has built, the formations of our troops on the ground and the vigilant efforts of law enforcement and banking institutions. If we're going to stick with the silly economic talk. We can say, the demand is still there, therefore so is, and will be, the supply. The only "returns" the terrorists need are corpses. Fear is not the exclusive motivation. It's good enough for them to just kill some infidels now and then.
The comparision to 9/11. All attacks, when held up in comparison to 9/11, pale.

Indecisive results. While 9/11 was able to gain a victory within Boyd's framework, it was unable to gain a decisive result that achieved the stated goals of al Qaeda. As a result of this perceived failure, al Qaeda intentionally opted for a rural insurgency in Afghanistan (that never materialized due to the emergence of a stable, decentralized, narco state alternative).

Post Terrorism Conflict
As a result of these factors, terrorism is in deep decline as a method of warfare. It won't disappear, particularly given its historical momentum and the fragmentation of the
Deep decline. Based on what, again?
opposition's effort. However, it is in the process of being replaced by a more effective alternative mainly through a highly decentralized and innovative process of development in Iraq that has stripped al Qaeda of its control of the movement (despite its attempt to integrate Zaraqawi into its command and funding system). Within that conflict, global guerrilla
So Iraqi insurgents have now supplanted Al Qaeda? Hm. I don't think that the 7/7 bombings were run from Iraq at all. How exactly can Iraqi insurgents and/or terrorists take control of Al Qaeda, in public name or in operation? It can't and hasn't. Nor have any Iraqi insurgency/terrorist groupst become more notorious than Al Qaeda. This is just more nonsense.
warfare is on the rise. This method of warfare differs from from terrorism and classic guerrilla warfare because it attacks systems as a means of decisively undermining the psychology of its opponents. Its elements include:
Attacking infrastructure is nothing new. Period.
Infrastructure sabotage.

Market disruption.

State failure and deligitimization.

Epilogue
To the global guerrillas in Iraq, it may appear that they are participating in classic terrorism or guerrilla warfare since this new method of warfare draws on a similar tactical approach. However, the results of their efforts point in another direction. Almost all of the attacks in Iraq can be aggregated into categories of system attack that lay waste to the processes of globalization and state power. In contrast to terrorism, global guerrilla warfare is a greenfield technique -- in that it never suffers diminishing reutrns (I will post more on this later). It also converts the inevitable civilian casualties that often over time detract from terror's effectiveness into a more acceptable "collatoral damage" -- people that are killed while near valid targets (this is another lesson learned from the US military). The net result is an effort that is likely going to be decisive within Boyd's framework. It will win the war in Iraq (unless there is immediate action to counter it). It will also be a method of warfare that will be exported around the world.
I wager that the generals in Iraq are a hell of a lot more informed than this guy on how to win the peace in Iraq. He has no proof of anything in the above paragraph. How exactly are Iranian and Syrian sponsored fighters in Iraq fighting state power and globalization? How exactly are people fighting for a global governance and a unified global state fighting globalization and state power? More backwards thinking from John Robb.
Chris Anderson has done some excellent work on the economics of the Long Tail (weblog and presentation).  The concept of the Long Tail is that globalization, new tools of production, and the Internet have made it possible to radically increase the supply and demand of niche products (in certain product categories).  In traditional markets, based on scarcity of shelf space and limited product diversity, the vast majority of revenues are derived from a very limited number of products.  In long tail markets, a diversity of products made by new entrants (via newly democratized tools of production and globalization), in combination with unlimited low cost shelf space (the Internet), and an accelerated word of mouth (the Internet) have radically expanded the supply curve.  Additionally, this newly diverse supply has energized demand for niche products that meet specific needs.

In a traditional market, hit products often get 80% of the revenue.  In a long tail market, hit products get 50% of the revenue while the other 50% is shared by a plethora of niche producers.  Niche demand and supply shifts the revenue to the tail.

The long tail has applicability to my work here on Global Guerrillas.  Traditionally, warfare (the ability to change society through violence) has been limited to nation-states (except in rare cases).  States had a monopoly on violence.  The result was a limited, truncated distribution of violence (a power law).  That monopoly is on the skids due to three trends:
States having a monopoly on violence is a *new* trend that is slowly waning back to is traditional tribal sense as national cohesion disintegrates. How can a man who acknowledges the existence of cowboys even say that?
A democratization of the tools of warfare.  Niche producers (for example: gangs) are made possible by the dislocation of globalization.  All it takes to participate is a few men, some boxcutters, and a plane (as an example of simple tools combined with leverage from ubiquitous economic infrastructure).
An amplification of the damage caused by niche producers of warfare.  The magic of global guerrilla systems disruption which turns inexpensive attacks into major economic and social events.
The acceleration of word of mouth.  New groups can more easily find/train recruits, convey their message to a wide audience, and find/coordinate their activities with other groups (allies).
The result:  a long tail has developed.  New niche producers of violence have flourished.  Demand for the results these niche suppliers can produce has also radically increased.  Big concepts (such as a struggle between Islam and the US), not championed by states, has supercharged niche suppliers like al Qaeda and its clones.  In some cases, the niche producer creates its own demand (see Transnational Gangs) or through its activites create demand for other niche producers (see Primary Loyalties).  I have taken liberties with a very small portion Chris' presentation to describe how the tail developed (Download warfare's_long_tail.ppt ).
Yes, they take advantage of our easily available goods and our open society. Yes, the media reports and distributes messages for them. Yes, the internet and encryption is commonly available. "Globalization" does not cause terrorist groups to exist. (Nice try though). I'd love to know how "globalized dislocation" (what's that supposed to mean anyways, unemployment?)  exclusively creates gangs. I'd love to know how the idea of a "niche producer of violence" is a new thing, as well. As though mercenaries, thugs and gangs have not existed throughout known history.
This new distribution shows a balance of power between nation-states (and their proxies) and non-state producers (global guerrillas).  In warfare, a 50/50 distribution of power is the recipe for an epochal conflict.  As always, please feel free to post a critique and thereby improve my effort here.
I don't see any balance of power between Terrorists and nation states. It's completely lopsided in our favour, and it's up to us to stay on top. Keep the fight in their backyard and out of ours.

This is the wrong strategy. With backwards ideas of who the enemy is. It makes flawed predictions and seems to paint globalization, the political right wing as the problem rather than the solution. Which is exactly the wrong answer. At least he got one thing right. We aren't going to give ground.

The economic framing of his argument does not help, it hinders. Yes, our enemies currently get more bang for their buck. That doesn't mean they are winning. We value life, and that is why we will spend a whole lot of money to protect our lives and the lives of our protectors. We could use their exact tactics on islamic nations around the world, if we wanted. But we aren't, because it's not a winning solution. It does not further our aims at all. When I see an Al Qaeda tank rolling down the road or tribute paid to the clerics in Saudi Arabia from our government, I'll believe we lost. Not a moment sooner. The war will enlarge in many countries and regions. That also does not mean we are losing. It's like cleaning an infected wound. We have to be patient and persistant. Redefining our enemy is not going to help, as the enemy is amorpheous and only generally bound by the depths to which they will sink, visa vis terrorism and those they hate, us.
 

54/102 CEF

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A few points

All should read "Savage Wars of Peace" by Max Boot - it will give a broad history of USA approach to small wars vs. big wars aka WW2 against a giant conventional army

Then - read The Mission by Dana Priest (all these books are at Chapters or Amazon or ABE BOOKS

The Mission's main idea is that the west has to have a long term engagement with the other side of the world and be seen as a good neighbour rather than sudden death out of the sky if the politicians disagree

As your friend and mine Gen Clausewitz will tell you every case is different and must be evaluated against many factors to apply the MINIMUM force to put the enemy in a worse position than he is at present to encourage him to quit. The approach in 1 country or theatre will not be the same everywhere.

The book "The Pentagon's New Map  by Thomas Barnett says more globalising will bring the 3rd world into the links with the west and when that is done - they'll be quite loath to have their part of the Long Tails interrupted

A few links to look at - these are WEBCASTS - need REAL PLAYER to see them but they are worthwhile - maybe time for some Canadians to get with it rather than give us the Toronto Spin on Everything??

GEN TONY ZINNI - stay involved with the EAST http://webcast.ucsd.edu:8080/ramgen/UCSD_TV/7060.rm

COL HARRY SUMMERS - Keeping focussed on Goals vs. reacting http://webcast.ucsd.edu:8080/ramgen/UCSD_TV/9175.rm

MAX BOOT - The Smalls Wars approach to what's happening in the World http://webcast.ucsd.edu:8080/ramgen/UCSD_TV/7750.rm ---- note in here he says that Saudi Arabia has a lot to account for

Note also that the Rise of Al Quaida is suggested a Strategic Blunder related to the end of the Cold War -

Goodbye Bandar, Hello Turki (http://conversationswithhistory.typepad.com/conversations_with_histor/)

Today's New York Times http://nytimes.com/2005/07/21/international/middleeast/21bandar.html?pagewanted=all reports on the changing of the guard at the Saudi Embassy.  The article does not do justice to the backstory--how these two Saudi officials are implicated with the United States in the rise of Al Qaeda and of Osama Bin Laden.  To raise these issues at this time might seem unseemly in the context of the many parties in Washington honoring Ambassadors Bandar and Turki. The story is a complex web of intrigue and strategic blunder.  It is the tale of how U.S. policy in the last phase of the Cold War relied on the Saudi connection, Pakistan, and militant Islam to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.  Fortunately, Steve Coll's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Ghost Wars, is a masterful account that tell us all we need to know.  I interviewed Coll for Conversations in March 2005 http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people5/Coll/coll-con0.html Read the interview and then the book. Also see the Conversations with History Research Gallery on Militancy and Moderation in Islam http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/PubEd/research/islam.html especially the interview with Ahmed Rashid at http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people2/Rashid/rashid-con0.html
 

54/102 CEF

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More fuel for the fires of Saudi Arabia

"Stated bluntly, the Saudi status quo is unsustainable. In fact, over the long term, the threat of a Saudi upheaval makes it the world's largest single political riskâ ”defined by the probability of a Saudi political earthquake multiplied by the magnitude of the impact of such an upheaval on U.S. national security and the global economy.

To begin with, a demographic disaster is already looming. With a high birthrate and virtually no family planning, Saudi Arabia's population has jumped from 7 million in 1980 to almost 21 million today. Because the Saudi economy has never appreciably diversified beyond the energy industry, per capita income has fallen, and unemployment has risen precipitously. At the height of the oil boom in the 1980s, the kingdom's per capita income was around $17,000. By 2003, this figure had dropped to around $8,200, lagging far behind the per capita income of other Gulf oil producers. This decline is even steeper when corrected for inflation and the plunge in the dollar exchange rate. Gross domestic product grew by only 1.6 percent between 1990 and 2000, while the country's population grew at an annual rate of 2.7 percent.

Real unemployment currently hovers above 20 percent. An even higher percentage of Saudis live below the poverty line. This worsening economic situation has malignantly affected a deeply conservative society. The kingdom contends with a rapid and unprecedented rise in crime; total incidents have ballooned an estimated 320 percent between 1990 and 1996 alone. And since nearly 60 percent of the Saudi population is under 20 years old, the most severe demographic stress on the Saudi economy has yet to hit the job market."

MOre  http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/articles/wpj04-3/Bremmer.html

I wonder if the dunderheads will open up a CF ARABIC LANGUAGE SCHOOL - min rank SGT after qualifiying in the languages of interest........


 

Acorn

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54/102 CEF said:
I wonder if the dunderheads will open up a CF ARABIC LANGUAGE SCHOOL - min rank SGT after qualifiying in the languages of interest........

Arabic is already taught at CFLS, long before 9/11.
 

54/102 CEF

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Re Arabic at the Language School - an audience of senior staffs and liasion rear echelon types is one thing

I think we might need much more than that to operate - if we are going to Snakeville and Scumbag Junction per the CDSs speeches - we should have a good ability to speak Snake.

I don`t think it would be that hard to get organised either.

 

Pieman

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My understanding is that Arabic is not spoken in Afghanistan by the majority of the population. One would have to learn Dari to speak to   at least half the population.

http://www.afghan-web.com/language/

Or is Dari closely related to Arabic? (They share the same alphabet but that does not mean they have the same grammer and pronunciation)

There are so many different dialects in the middle east. It is not clear to me how useful learning Arabic would be in these types of countries. Any one here have a grasp as to how useful it would actually be?
 

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Pieman said:
My understanding is that Arabic is not spoken in Afghanistan by the majority of the population. One would have to learn Dari to speak to   at least half the population.

http://www.afghan-web.com/language/

Or is Dari closely related to Arabic? (They share the same alphabet but that does not mean they have the same grammer and pronunciation)

There are so many different dialects in the middle east. It is not clear to me how useful learning Arabic would be in these types of countries. Any one here have a grasp as to how useful it would actually be?

Arabic as a language is spoken in over 22 countries worldwide, however, as alluded to many countries have there own dialect as well. Arabic (language) is known as a diglossia, meaning that there are two forms of the language, first, there is Modern Standard Arabic based upon Quranic Arabic which is spoken in schools, the news and written in most forms of printed material. The other variant, are the sub-dialects of the language, they may differ from country to country and in some cases even town to town.

What does this mean?...Basically if you are educated in Modern Standard you would be able to communicate with people from pretty much all Arabic speaking countries, but, if they can only speak their local dialect, chances are they would be able to understand you better than you could understand them. As to how ususeful it would be, reading some lessons learned from Iraq it seems that it can be a great asset, why rely on local interpreters if you can susuccessfully employ one of your own soldiers? Perhaps the intelligence that can be gained from a local may offset that though??...straying out of my lane there...

As far as Dari, although it uses the Arabic alphabet, with a few letters borrowed from Farsi it is not closely related, it's much closer to Farsi which has an Indo-European root.

cheers, and
!السلام عليكم
 

Pieman

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Thanks yukon, very clear. Been thinking of learning Arabic for some time now, think I might take a shot at it.

!السلام عليكم

What does that mean?  :p
 

-rb

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Pieman said:
What does that mean?   :p

!السلام عليكم - transliteration is "Assalamu Ealaikum"...roughly translated means "Peace be Upon You", more or less the standard greeting in Arabic language/culture. :)

cheers.
 

Infanteer

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Dare said:
As I've frequently pointed out, in response, the idea of "Islamic Insurgency" is the misnomer, and is considerably misguided and narrowly focused. We are not at war against Islamic insurgents.

Well, thanks for telling me I'm out to lunch - I'm happy to know I'm an idiot (along with certain SME's who I believe the same thing).   Why don't you tell me why and how I'm wrong, instead of just petulantly writing me off.   If you're not going to do that, and offer constructive criticism, then quit sucking up Mike's bandwidth.

We are fighting some Islamic insurgents, in some countries. For the expressed purpose of removing the threat of someone blowing up one of our cities (Terrorism). We are not fighting with the goal of removing Islamic insurgents world wide. Neo-Nazis are joining the cause. The Far left is joining the cause. They are uniting. Not with the expressed goal of an Islamic world state, but with the goal of our destruction. I do not understand why you continue to try and sell this completely inaccurate name and doctrine.

So, I am to infer from this that the "War on Terror" started with 9/11?   Your explanation of the conflict would fit well on FOX news, but I'm not sure it does a good job of identifying what is really happening.   The notion that they "want to destroy us" has its place, but it must be properly viewed within the construct of ideals and goals.   I believe that the leaders of the Insurgency, such as Zawahiri and bin Laden, are too pragmatic to design their strategy around whimsical notions such as converting America to Islam by the sword.   They wouldn't have ousted the Soviets if they were dreamers.   Leave the bold pronouncements to the loud-mouths and focus on the immediate goals that the leaders of the Insurgency are driving the conflict for.

Why do we have to call them NGO's? Do you believe that many of them do not get funding/training/equipment from foreign governments? Why do you keep going through all the trouble to redefine our enemy?

The Insurgency is an NGO - this is not a conventional state-centric organization we are facing (something "War on Terror" hearkens back to).   Since I'm wrong, what exactly are these states?   Is it the Syrians, which everybody likes to point to?   Acorn has lots of experience working in this area, and I take his word when he points out that people are talking through their hat by pointing at a big Syrian bogeyman.   Besides, what would the Shi'a Alawi, from which Asad and the ruling group stem from, really want with the extremist Sunnis next door?   Undoubtedly, there is support coming from Syria (just like other neighbours), but I'd bet the farm that it is informal and covert rather than being a throw back to classic, Cold War state-sponsorship.   Iran?   From what I've been told from guys at the Coal Face, they are kicking it back - they are happy with the fact that a Shi'a majority will soon be taken over the spurs in Iraq.   The Taliban are a nice example, but they are now part of the Insurgency as well - heck, their membership has been trained by Al Qa'ida, not the other way around.   Pakistan?   Musharaf can barely keep the reigns on his own country - like the Syrians, support from the ISI or other groups is informal and sub-state.   That's my understanding of the matter, although I'm open to get the skinny from you if you've got some closed-source intel that I'm not privy to.

I'm not redefining, I'm reclassifying as I believe we've made some mistakes in measuring the enemy based on the bias of our Western goggles, which Acorn addresses nicely right here.

Terrorism is not just any "tool". It's akin to using a chainsaw for surgery on someone who doesn't even need surgery. It's just plain stupid, and so there should be no problem outlawing that tactic. Just as we have outlawed many tactics that violate our decency.

Who gives a shit about our decency - if you haven't figured it out; the enemy isn't "us" and doesn't play by "our rules" (which, for some reason, you seem to think apply throughout the whole world).   I'm not even going to attempt to try and decipher your metaphor, because I can't figure out what you're trying to say.   Looking at the 9/11 attacks, it is easy to see that they were belligerent attacks that were means to an end - they were focused on specific aspects of our infrastructure in an attempt to further the goals of Al Qa'ida, the banner of the Islamic Insurgency.   That is really all that matters; we can worry about your moral condemnation of AQ after the war is over.

Moving along - as for John Robb's thoughts, I'm not going to get into a point-by-point shoot out over them, because they are his views and he can probably support them better than I; if you want, head over to his blogspot and tell him what an idiot he is, since you seem to have your shit dialed down tight.

I will, however, explain the reasons why I chose to put them up, because I did find them interesting.

The first article was an interview with an Arab scholar Saad al-Fiqih, which the post I put up doesn't make clear.   That was my fault, and I fixed it to point out al-Fiquh's statements.   Anyways, I found it interesting because it was a few of the enemies motivations from an Arabic standpoint, something liable to have a different spin on things then us.   This is not to say that he is right, but it is a little different than listening to talking heads like Hannity over at FOX news tell us what the bad guys are all about.

The second article is very apt; I'm not sure if you are fully reading into the theory of John Boyd (the three-dimensional chessboard; intersecting tactical, operational and strategic levels with physical, mental and moral ones) - check out some work on him here: http://d-n-i.net/index.html.   I think he has a point with his notion of isolation - I've heard many reffer to the MP's in the Abu Gharaib deal as "Those Assholes who Lost us the War" (this is from soldiers who were in Iraq - a tad pessimistic, but the idea is there).   As well, isolation on the moral front is fairly obvious at the political level - look at the support the US had in prosecuting the war before and after Iraq; Joseph S Nye has a good point when he looks to the importance of Soft Power.

The third article is good because it underscores the notion of terrorism as a tactic - it is a means, not an end.   Organizations within the Insurgency don't use terrorism because their terrorists and it seems like a neat way to do things, they use it because it is an effective tactic (to a certain extent) in an asymmetric, networked conflict.

I liked the final article article because it pointed towards the range of groups across a spectrum - the groups and individuals that compose the Insurgency.   You may not think the Globalization has any profound affect on the way the Insurgency is carried out, but I certainly do - it is expounded upon quite well by USMC Col Thomas Hammes in his well received book The Sling and the Stone.   As well, the article highlights the movement of violence away from a state monopoly; another trend well covered and elaborated upon, as I alluded to, by Martin van Crevald.

السلام عليكم,

Infanteer
 
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pappy

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first I'll say I didn't read all of this whew, maybe later after some coffee.  But this has all started long before 9/11.  Non-government / government sponsorship of terrorism has a long history, probably as old as warfare itself.  One example, one could argue as state sponsored terrorism before any of us where born could be the French & Indian war....  Many can argue the only reason the french supported the rebels in the American reveloution was to piss off the Brits and keep British troops tied up in NA versus having the King send them to France....

I think the big point that most people are over looking is Iran's (and Syria) hand in all this....  In modern times one could say the PLO started off as an outshoot of the cold war, as much of the arms and money came in from the Warsaw pact, once the Shan was toppled in the late 1970's Iran has been the number one funder/supporter of terrorist groups of middle eastern origins.

If they want a war I say let's take it to them and get dirty too, let's start killing off Bin Ladens family members, they target our civilians, that makes their's open season too.  Too ruthless you say? maybe, but thats war, winning the war is the end result, you can't fight a politically correct war when your enemy isn't restriced by morality.

if you can't find the head of the snake, start at the tail-end and work your way up.  Sooner or later your reach the head.  show the enemy weakness and they will eat our lunch.  Lets play to win at all costs, let history judge us. the Terrorist have shown they are willing to do anything to win, if we don't meet that on equal terms we'll be fighting this when your grandkids are our age.

I'd much rather live in a country that has to say later "I guess we where too harsh and won the war too ruthlessly" then one that says "maybe we should have been a little more aggressive..."

This isn't about catching your kid with his or her hand in the cookie jar and applying "tough love". 

This is all out war and its time we start to fight to win, not just simpling trying to be politically correct, the time for politics and diplomacy ended years and years ago.


 

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pappy said:
I think the big point that most people are over looking is Iran's (and Syria) hand in all this....   In modern times one could say the PLO started off as an outshoot of the cold war, as much of the arms and money came in from the Warsaw pact, once the Shan was toppled in the late 1970's Iran has been the number one funder/supporter of terrorist groups of middle eastern origins.

Iran's support has been pretty focussed. The current support of both Iran and Syria for the Iraq insurgency is clear self interest. If the US succeeds in Iraq, where will the US's next target be? Keep them tied down in Iraq until the US public gets tired of it (a la Vietnam) and Syria and Iran have no worries. That's how they view it at least.

If they want a war I say let's take it to them and get dirty too, let's start killing off Bin Ladens family members, they target our civilians, that makes their's open season too.   Too ruthless you say? maybe, but thats war, winning the war is the end result, you can't fight a politically correct war when your enemy isn't restriced by morality.

Some philosophers have asked if winning the war is worth losing our soul. I'll leave that to them for further discussion. However, I would suggest that your offered solution would do nothing more than create the Clash of Civilizations that we should seek to avoid. If we go down that road we may end up having to resort to genocide. I know I'm certainly not ready for that. It's not just "politically correct" it is morally correct to avoid the deliberate targetting of civilians (regardless of who they are related to). If we resort to it we legitimize the tactics of our enemy.

Acorn
 

54/102 CEF

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I think everyone has part of the answer -

Some ideas

- forget a western timescale - this may go on for some time into the future
- reduce the frequency and impact of the other side which is a 360 degree threat
- encourage the local governments to show progress in their own way
- buy more from the locals or regional economies
- rethink the over worked regulars and get more mileage out of the reserves in Canada - if the government is going to give them a pension - a conclusion is that they should design more existing manpower into the equation
- that could also mean a reduction in the air force and transfers to the Army
- the end result will be a subtle approach vs. a clear and tidy but bloody solution
-it may well look like the CAP MARINE program of the USMC in the later stages of the Vietnam war - see  http://www.leavenworth.army.mil/milrev/English/JulAug02/kopets.htm

More

http://capmarine.com/ ----- http://www.thehistorynet.com/vn/blcap/index1.html -------

"The application of American military power in Vietnam failed to acknowledge the critical vulnerabilities inherent to an indigenous guerrilla force. Through the CAP, the Marines provided a model that if taken throughout South Vietnam would have likely preserved its sovereignty. Given the American inclination to play down the volatility of small scale wars and in particular guerrilla affairs, the Marines' combined action experiences in Vietnam present a viable alternative to unconventional utilization of conventional forces for the future." more ---- http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/williamson.pdf

More - http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/central/brush/CivicAction.htm

Summary - if the boy wonders are saying this will take a generation maybe double it as it sounds to me like the trick of old reel out the line and see if anything bites it rather than say

The Government - or NATO or whoever in partnership with regional governments emphasize that we will be there until the area violence indicator goes down to that of the slums of Toronto (that should get our CIMIC man going :)

You`d think that an elected official would come out and say the big stuff - but I don't see it - yet.

Its all very good for the top level with more operational experience than we've had in a generation say stuff like this - but they are at least saying something so the inevitable enquiry into why such and such was a royal disaster can't say they were never told - but if we look back to other wars - there are a lot of screwups to come before this is over.

And a final line ------

Given the recent success getting the Russian Sub to the surface maybe its time we had some C 17s for fast movement of over size cargo to incredibly complicated landing zomes - forget Kandahar - I think we could see something like this happen in Canada - the BIG SHAKE in Vancouver which cannot in my view be supported by CF Airlift........ think of moving 300,000 bags of groceries to anxious voters in Jan 2007
 

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Infanteer said:
Well, thanks for telling me I'm out to lunch - I'm happy to know I'm an idiot (along with certain SME's who I believe the same thing).  Why don't you tell me why and how I'm wrong, instead of just petulantly writing me off.  If you're not going to do that, and offer constructive criticism, then quit sucking up Mike's bandwidth.
Well firstly, I did not say *you* were out to lunch, nor do I "petulantly write you off". I think you are a bright fellow, Infanteer. As I have said before, that does not mean I tow the line on anything you say. I do believe that the choice of wordings to be important (as I'm sure you have figured out by now). I do, on the other hand, write off this entire strategy and idea. And I *did* tell you how and why you were wrong, in many different ways. As I have been since you first mentioned it (on this forum). It's very simple. If Islamic jihadists start fighting in Canada. They are not automatically insurgents. You can't define all our enemies as insurgents. Just as you can not define all our enemies as terrorists. Which is the crux of the debate. Now, we did declare war on terrorism. We *also* made war against the nation state of Afghanistan (thus covering the insurgents). Non-state/national partisans are not always terrorists. I can not "constructively" criticize something that is simply wrong other than to state it is and explain why.
So, I am to infer from this that the "War on Terror" started with 9/11?  Your explanation of the conflict would fit well on FOX news, but I'm not sure it does a good job of identifying what is really happening.  The notion that they "want to destroy us" has its place, but it must be properly viewed within the construct of ideals and goals.  I believe that the leaders of the Insurgency, such as Zawahiri and bin Laden, are too pragmatic to design their strategy around whimsical notions such as converting America to Islam by the sword.  They wouldn't have ousted the Soviets if they were dreamers.  Leave the bold pronouncements to the loud-mouths and focus on the immediate goals that the leaders of the Insurgency are driving the conflict for.
The "official" "War" on terrorism, did. The unofficial war, has obviously gone on for some time. I am surprised you still do not believe radical Islams cry for world domination. Perhaps when they start making more British accented videos, you'll believe it. They are not dreamers, it's not a dream. It could happen. Who would have thought 1000 years ago America would be a secular Christian nation? Surely, it's difficult, but not an impossible or unpragmatic plan. They are obviously not working solely through the sword. Of course, the scope of other convertion activities are, generally, not within the military realm. It seems to me that bin Laden and Zawahiri do a whole lot of bold pronouncements. Have you listened to what he has said? Not withstanding that he is not the only leader of the only group. There are thousands.
The Insurgency is an NGO - this is not a conventional state-centric organization we are facing (something "War on Terror" hearkens back to).  Since I'm wrong, what exactly are these states?  Is it the Syrians, which everybody likes to point to?  Acorn has lots of experience working in this area, and I take his word when he points out that people are talking through their hat by pointing at a big Syrian bogeyman.  Besides, what would the Shi'a Alawi, from which Asad and the ruling group stem from, really want with the extremist Sunnis next door?  Undoubtedly, there is support coming from Syria (just like other neighbours), but I'd bet the farm that it is informal and covert rather than being a throw back to classic, Cold War state-sponsorship.  Iran?  From what I've been told from guys at the Coal Face, they are kicking it back - they are happy with the fact that a Shi'a majority will soon be taken over the spurs in Iraq.  The Taliban are a nice example, but they are now part of the Insurgency as well - heck, their membership has been trained by Al Qa'ida, not the other way around.  Pakistan?  Musharaf can barely keep the reigns on his own country - like the Syrians, support from the ISI or other groups is informal and sub-state.  That's my understanding of the matter, although I'm open to get the skinny from you if you've got some closed-source intel that I'm not privy to.
Let's think about it this way. If I were Asad, and I didn't want extremist Sunnis in my country, and I didn't want America next door. I would open the exit door to the Sunnis. Look where the US has been executing large operations recently. New offensives in western Iraq. Syria still has plenty of assets in Lebanon. Here's a small summery I found for you.
http://www.meib.org/articles/0304_s2.htm  If you don't think the Syrian's are in hip deep, you aren't listening to the wrong signals. Yes, Iran is pleased with a Shi'a majority, that does not mean they are not highly active, and a threat. Their entire government is a threat. There is plenty of non-classified information out there about Syrian and Iranian escapades in Iraq. I would agree that the support that from ISI is informal, but let's be serious here. As you said, Musharaf really doesn't have the reigns held tight. What "formality" is there in a dictatorship, anyways? The ISI have a huge power base, on their own terms.
I'm not redefining, I'm reclassifying as I believe we've made some mistakes in measuring the enemy based on the bias of our Western goggles, which Acorn addresses nicely right here.
He seems to be trying to explain away "Islamic Fascism". Well, a good history lesson on fascism, and reading up on current events would indicate that such a thing does, in fact, exist. Islamic theocracies resemble fascist governments, complete with their ministries of information, minus the efficiency.

"That Mein Kampf is popular in the Arab world (not the borader Muslim world, by the way) should be no more surprise than observing that the National Review  is popular among a certain type of conservative in the US and Canada - the printed word suits the individual's world view."

I'm not even sure what to make of that, but I'll start with, I wouldn't compare the National Review to the Mein Kampf. The fact he would, I find very shocking, actually. Considering the diametrical opposition. Either way, if the (not-so-broad) Arab worlds "individual world view" includes a popular Mein Kampf, then I would say that is another notch.
Who gives a crap about our decency
The civilized world does. Honour means something. Maybe not to you, I don't know. We don't rape villages and condict forced convertions and such. We avoid, at considerable cost, targetting civilians.  We give a crap.
- if you haven't figured it out; the enemy isn't "us" and doesn't play by "our rules" (which, for some reason, you seem to think apply throughout the whole world).  I'm not even
I never said that our enemy was decent, or civil. If you read to the bottom. It was long, I hit the 25,000 limit, but that's what happens when you post 4 articles in one message. :)
going to attempt to try and decipher your metaphor, because I can't figure out what you're trying to say.  Looking at the 9/11 attacks, it is easy to see that they were belligerent attacks that were means to an end - they were focused on specific aspects of our infrastructure in an attempt to further the goals of Al Qa'ida, the banner of the Islamic Insurgency.  That is really all that matters; we can worry about your moral condemnation of AQ after the war is over.
NO, we most certainly can not. Moral condemnation is what will win the war. That is a major reason the label of terrorist is preferred over insurgent. As one is clearly (and more accurately) more despised. Al Qaeda is not "the" banner. It is one of many.
Moving along - as for John Robb's thoughts, I'm not going to get into a point-by-point shoot out over them, because they are his views and he can probably support them better than I; if you want, head over to his blogspot and tell him what an idiot he is, since you seem to have your crap dialed down tight.
I don't think he's an idiot. Just thinking backwards, that's all. We all do it now and then. There's no shame in it. It's usually a matter of excluding only a few variables from the calculations that sends the result in the negative.
I will, however, explain the reasons why I chose to put them up, because I did find them interesting.

The first article was an interview with an Arab scholar Saad al-Fiqih, which the post I put up doesn't make clear.  That was my fault, and I fixed it to point out al-Fiquh's statements.  Anyways, I found it interesting because it was a few of the enemies motivations from an Arabic standpoint, something liable to have a different spin on things then us.  This is not to say that he is right, but it is a little different than listening to talking heads like Hannity over at FOX news tell us what the bad guys are all about.
I don't watch FOX news. Ever, as a matter of fact. Not because I dislike it, just because I don't. Although I am often (surprisingly often) accused of being some sort of parrot of FOX news due to my opinions, I am not.
The second article is very apt; I'm not sure if you are fully reading into the theory of John Boyd (the three-dimensional chessboard; intersecting tactical, operational and strategic levels with physical, mental and moral ones) - check out some work on him here: http://d-n-i.net/index.html.  I think he has a point with his notion of isolation - I've heard many reffer to the MP's in the Abu Gharaib deal as "Those Assholes who Lost us the War" (this is from soldiers who were in Iraq - a tad pessimistic, but the idea is there).  As well, isolation on the moral front is fairly obvious at the political level - look at the support the US had in prosecuting the war before and after Iraq; Joseph S Nye has a good point when he looks to the importance of Soft Power.
Yes, I do agree that it was damaging to an image. But that image is only as damaging as we make it, you see. As I mentioned (in not so many words), it is not Muslim public opinion that will win or lose the war for us. It is western public opinion. It was very damaging, but we poorly defending ourselves. Profusely appologizing, rather than also examining the facts of what the governments of virtually all Muslim nations use on their prisoners (where the strongest critique came from). It is somewhat (a bit) contradictory to deride decency then put this as a black spot on the war effort (even though it surely is, just as overriding western senses of decency would be).
The third article is good because it underscores the notion of terrorism as a tactic - it is a means, not an end.  Organizations within the Insurgency don't use terrorism because their terrorists and it seems like a neat way to do things, they use it because it is an effective tactic (to a certain extent) in an asymmetric, networked conflict.
Absolutely it is a tactic, of course. BUT, it is also (in the context of this war, and most wars) a means to an end. It is an effective tactic for their goals in many ways, yes. But also, we have to take in consideration the idea of a martyr. Which indeed is a "neat" thing to do, for our enemies. I have seen more than enough evidence to support that martyrdom is a high goal. The easiest and quickest way there would be to blow up some civilians. I will explain more below.
I liked the final article article because it pointed towards the range of groups across a spectrum - the groups and individuals that compose the Insurgency.  You may not think the Globalization has any profound affect on the way the Insurgency is carried out, but I certainly do - it is expounded upon quite well by USMC Col Thomas Hammes in his well received book The Sling and the Stone.  As well, the article highlights the movement of violence away from a state monopoly; another trend well covered and elaborated upon, as I alluded to, by Martin van Crevald.
Violence has throughout history been a decentralized activity as well as centralized. It's just that after the concentrations of WW1 and WW2, it was largely nationalized. We now see a losening of that centralization as knowledge and materials become more available. So yes, it does give them abilities that they would not have without the innovations and technology of more civilized people, I acknowledge that. This does not in itself create terrorist groups, or insurgencies for that matter. Yes, it does change the method by which they operate, but it does not foster their growth in anything but passive/neutral ways (ie. communication, logistics, etc). I can get an item shipped from China via EMS in 3 days, that doesn't mean that, in itself, creates these groups. Now, as for the effect of anti-globalization propaghanda, I can not assertain. I would say that there is a perception that the walls are coming around them, in many ways reinforced by various media outlets. Which is not surprising.
Anyways, since I'm being called to task for approaching the conflict as a global insurgency, I've written a Opinion Paper that lays out my framework of analysis that I'm in the process of editing and getting reviewed.  I'm on the road for the next week, so I'll try and finish it and have it up here next week for people to pick apart, debate and discuss.
We are at war against a specific tactic because it is difficult to defend against and because we must create awareness so society can adapt and defend itself organicly. We do detest the tactic of killing innocent civilians, and now reserve it only for highly desperate situations. The idea of murdering the innocent to lower moral is easily one of the morally lowest of tactics. One can say there are no morals in war, but I disagree. We are also at war with Afghanistan and it's insurgents (no matter the political stripe). So while most, if not, all, so far, have been Islamic, we can not say that is a purpetual state. The insurgents in Afghanistan may alter in time. What do we call it then when the insurgents are not all Islamic? They are already not all insurgents, but what happens when both defining words in the war definition are inaccurate? Do we start another "war"? There are already connections being made to Islamic terrorist groups to narco and marxist groups in Columbia and other countries and to neo-Nazi groups world wide. What do we call it then? I think that if you are not to use the term War on Terror, that John Robb's (or whomever he borrowed it from) description of Global Guerilla War would be more apt. But then we omit a critical difference between us and them. As you will know that is often the belief of many opponents of the Iraq war and the belief of many neutrals. They say "What's the difference between them and you?" Here we can point to a window that will show the critic a defining difference. They target innocent civilians. We don't. They are not just simply on the same level as many insurgent groups around the world. They are a global shadow entity that seeks to kill or convert as many of us as possible. It's *not* just Al Qaeda or bin Laden. There's no evidence that there is any connection between the "real" Al Qaeda to the terrorists of 7/7 (no I will not simply call them bombers). These groups are seperate (despite the attempt to combine affiliate themselves (apparently, the jury is out). These are distinct entities. It is to our *advantage* strategically to name the war against terrorism.

Please do not think I disregard you, Infanteer. I may come off harsh now and then, but that is only because I am a naturally direct person. We are all in this boat together. If I didn't like you I wouldn't be trying to correct you. I know the idea of Islamic Insurgency is gaining momentum (mostly because it's new, and also because Sheuer's media blitz ;) ). So perhaps the wind is in your sails. I will still refute it, not because I dismiss it outright without thought, but because I have though much about it and conclude it is illogical. I've read a good amount of what you have had to say on here and elsewhere. I'm not against you. I'm just trying to make sure no one blows my family and friends up (they're getting closer). If you had seen what I have, you might think differently, then of course the opposite is true. I look forward to talking more to you, to resolve our differences, in a peaceful, civilized, western manner. ;) I also have to go, busy day.

 

a_majoor

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The GWOT is, like Pappy said, an "outsourcing" of war. Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently united in a common front against the United States, since the US not only stands against their goals (Ba'athist dictatorship; Islamic Theocracy; Authoratarian monarchy when reduced to the simplest terms), but is actively creating conditions through cultural, economic and now military means to end their ambitions.

Since these nations have no realistic means of directly challenging the United States (even a nuclear armed Iran can only hold the Persian Gulf hostage, which is actually a disaster for Europe, Japan and China, who import most of their oil from there; the United States would have a great economic shock but would be able to ride it out), they have turned to sponsoring terrorist organizations to do the dirty work.

Should the United States win, through sponsoring and supporting Cedar Revolutions and demonstrating the Jihadis cannot succeed, the new Axis of Evil will probably implode, with catastrophic short term results but allowing long term stability to emerge in the region. Should the US fail, the differing goals of the three sponsoring nations will lead to a falling out; I don't think Syria or Saudi Arabia are very keen to see a nuclear Iran rise in the neighbourhood. No matter what, this will be very long and messy, and will probably involve current and joining service members for the remainder of your careers.
 

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Let's take a look at the war on terror within the context of 4th generational warfare. I quote from the Marine Corps Gazette 1989:

"Each generational change has been marked by greater dispersion on the battlefield. The fourth generation battlefield is likely to include the whole of the enemy's society.... [F]ourth generation warfare seems likely to be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. It will be nonlinear, possibly to the point of having no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between "civilian" and "military" may disappear."

We see this in Iraq where the entirety of Iraqi society is the battlefield. In fact all of muslim society may be seeing the beginning of transformation to democracy and freedom which is in direct opposition to Wahabism. On the other hand the enemy has not been able to engage us in our society [our battlespace if you will].

As we are fighting in the enemy society there can only be two outcomes - our failure or their's. If we fail the battlefield will shift to some other locale. If we win the enemy is destroyed within his society. In Iraq terrorist actions are turning Iraqi society away from their cause - good for us. Which just leaves the enemy only one last objective - civil war and the destruction of Iraqi society. There are sign's in Iraq of increasing red on red incidents.
If this spread's then the terrorists will lose big time and democracy will have a chance to succede.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081301209.html
 

a_majoor

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One factor we don't take into account is the spread of "Parallel structures" within our own society. The French identified this as a problem in Indochina back in the 1950s, but never found a satisfactory solution. If outside groups (unassimilated immigrants, radical agitators, criminals) begin setting up a "society" within a society, including claiming the power to tax, set laws and mete out punishments, then the power of the legaly elected state is being challenged, and parallel societies must be fought or larger and larger segments of the population will switch allegence to those who really do hold the power of life and death.
(What would be worse; continued Liberal rule or haviong your neighbourhood taken over by the Hell's Angels?).

Canada is especially vulnerable, since the Government actually encourages this sort of thing (Turning a blind eye to the activities of the LTTE; preaching multi-culturalism; reffering to native groups as "First Nations"). Whatever you might think of these causes, unless everyone is clearly and openly "Canadian" first and foremost, then you have planted the seeds for potential opposition to the legal government of Canada.

David Frum:

Can a free society ban the burqa?

The Italian Senate's action to double penalties for wearing masks in public places has caught the attention of the world. Opponents of the law, both Italian and foreign, point out that Italy's ban on masking originated under Mussolini and must therefore be "fascist."

But those critics forget that other countries have also banned public masking, not to suppress public liberty, but to defend it.

The United States, for instance, restricted the wearing of masks in the Civil Rights Act of 1871 in order to suppress the Ku Klux Klan. The Reconstruction Congress recognized that the Klan's masks were essential to the Klan's campaign of intimidation in the American South.

The Klan's masks helped preserve the secrecy of Klan membership in the villages and countryside of the Old South. Secrecy enabled Klan members to escape responsibility for their violent actions. Secrecy enhanced the power of the Klan too, by provoking worries about who might be a masked member of the group. The town chief of police? The teachers at the local school? The banker who approved and disapproved loans? The Klan called itself "the invisible empire" and hoped its mystique would frighten federal officials out of the South - and the United States government into abandoning the rights of the Klan's black victims.

Extremist Islam regards women more or less as the old Klan regarded black Americans: as natural slaves and as perpetual threats to a social order based upon their slavery. Like the Klan, extremist Islam conducts a low-intensity guerilla war against women who dare to assert their freedom: casting acid in the faces of unveiled, beatings and rape in the home, honor killings. In the American South, it was the slave-masters who wore the masks as they waged their war against their former slaves. In extremist Islam, the masks are forced upon the slaves themselves.

The American feminist Phyllis Chesler shrewdly observes in her important forthcoming book about women under Islam, THE DEATH OF FEMINISM, that the traditional formula for expressing thanks to a woman for some domestic service is: "May God conceal your shame." Heard in context, it is a wish that the woman may find a husband. Yet the formula should be heard literally too. It means that to be a woman is inherently shameful. The burqa literally fulfills the ancient wish by concealing the woman from head to toe, as if she were something so disgusting that no eye could bear to see her.

If Italian women of Muslim faith or background were piteously petitioning the state to permit them to abase themselves before their husbands and masters - if they insisted that they really and truly wished to be treated as slaves - it would still be a very difficult question whether the Italian state should allow them to do so. Italy does not allow people to sell themselves into slavery.

But except for a few radicalized mouthpieces for extremist Islam, it is not Muslim women who are demanding the right to wear the burqa. It is radical Muslim men who are demanding the right to force women into it. This is not a libertarian demand to put it mildly. And once the extremists have forced their own wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters into the garments of slavery, they can then turn to other women in the Muslim communities of Europe and ask: "What about you?"

And this is exactly what is happening and what has happened in schools and neighborhoods where extremist Muslims live. They create an "invisible empire" of their own: a society within a society characterized by a cult of violence among the men and absolute degradation for the women. The burqa symbolizes that degradation - and is also its most constant daily expression.

Nor is the burqa a threat to women of Muslim background alone.

Already we hear complaints from Mulims in the West - and not only from violent extremists - about the "immodesty" of women here. Already there are apologists who suggest that perhaps we can learn from Islam not to objectify women sexually. Already there are officials hinting that social order would be assisted if women would follow a few simple precautions ....

Italy is now a country with a substantial Muslim minority. That minority has rights that the Italian state must protect. But let us remember please that half this minority is female - and that the protection they most need is protection against the bullies and extremists who seek to export the ancient oppression of the Middle East to the cities and suburbs of the modern West.
 

a_majoor

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an interesting interpretation of what the Jihadis believe as their long term strategy:

http://billroggio.com/archives/2005/08/the_seven_phase.php

The Seven Phases of The Base
By Bill Roggio

With the fourth anniversay of the hot war between al Qaeda and the West approaching, it is interesting to see how al Qaeda's strategy and objectives have evolved since the United States committed to engaging in open warfare.

The Word Unheard points us to an article in Spiegel Online by a Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, who is believed to be a reliable source of information on al Qaeda. His main source for this article on al Qaeda strategy is none other than Saif al-Adel, al Qaeda's military commander who is currently operating from Iran.

al Qaeda's purported strategy can be broken down into seven "phases" which span from 2000 until 2020, at which time they believe the global Islamist Caliphate will be established and they will acheive "definitive victory." Here are the phases, which are followed by commentary when appropriate.

    The First Phase Known as "the awakening" -- this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby "awakening" Muslims. "The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful," writes Hussein. "The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target." The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard "everywhere."

al Qaeda can claim some success in the First Phase, as the organization is now the preeminent terrorist organization on the planet. The attacks of September 11 were cheered throughout the Islamic world. The global media disseminates Al Qaeda commander's speeches. Each and every terrorist attack is followed by suspicious of al Qaeda involvement. And the US did indeed bring the war to the Islamic world in Afghanistan and Iraq, however not against Islam itself. But this came at a price, as Islamist Afghanistan and friendly Saddam-governed Iraq were lost.

    The Second Phase "Opening Eyes" is, according to Hussein's definition, the period we are now in and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the "Islamic community." Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaida wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an "army" set up there and bases established in other Arabic states.

So far, the Second Phase has been a failure. The Arab and greater Islamic Street has been essentially silent in its support of al Qaeda. The perception that al Qaeda's cause is popular as hundreds of Islamists enter Iraq monthly is overshadowed by the tens of thousands of Islamic fighters who enter Afghanistan during the war with the Soviet Union. al Qaeda has generated new recruits, but not nearly enough to replace the experienced operators and managers that have been lost under the American onslaught in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Winning the Second Phase is important from a ideological standpoint. Defeat in Iraq would seriously harm the credibility of al Qaeda and weaken their mystique. They would possess a losing ideology that could not stand up to the Great Satan. Allah would have abandoned them to the privations of the infidel.

    The Third Phase This is described as "Arising and Standing Up" and should last from 2007 to 2010. "There will be a focus on Syria," prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and -- even more explosive -- in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaida's masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger.

    The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaida will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that "the creeping loss of the regimes' power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaida." At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism.

The Third and Fourth Phases can essentially be condensed. The potential spread of jihad and instability to Iraq's neighbors of Turkey, Syria, (and while not mentioned, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait) as well as Israel highlights the importance of an American victory in Iraq. Iraq, as a failed state, would provide al Qaeda a base to create instability in bordering countries, setting the stage for overthrow by the Islamists.

It should be noted that Syria is playing a dangerous game by allowing al Qaeda to use its soil to conduct operations in Iraq. The jihadis are developing contacts, networks and obtaining recruits, which can eventually by turned against the Asad regime.

For the record, it seems al Qaeda has already laid the groundwork for the Third and Fourth Phases. There are reports al Qaeda seeks to establish itself in Gaza to strike Israel, and Turkish vacation spots, including cruise ships are believed to have been the target of a just-foiled al Qaeda plot. Islamic countries have been the target of numerous al Qaeda attacks {see flash presentation, 2M download), and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been in open war with al Qaeda for several years. Saudi oil facilities have been a target throughout.

The United States will not allow another Islamic state to fall to al Qaeda's ideologues. The lesson of September 11 serves as a reminder of what happened when Afghanistan became a sanctuary and de facto al Qaeda state.

    The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.

    The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of "total confrontation." As soon as the caliphate has been declared the "Islamic army" it will instigate the "fight between the believers and the non-believers" which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden.

    The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as "definitive victory." Hussein writes that in the terrorists' eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the "one-and-a-half million Muslims," the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn't last longer than two years.

Phases Five, Six and Seven are merely the dreams of al Qaeda, as the prospects for al Qaeda's success in phases One thru Fourth are looking grim at the moment. Despite media portrayal of defeat in Iraq, the Iraqi people are fighting the insurgency and the Anbar region is set to be reduced as an al Qaeda rear area. The jewel of al Qaeda, Afghanistan, fell almost four years ago, and al Qaeda and its Taliban allies have not come even close to retaining control. There are rumors of a serious rift between al Qaeda and the Taliban, as the Taliban believes its woes were created by closely allying themselves with Osama's cause.

However, in the event of the United State loses its political will and pursues a policy of isolation from the Muslim world, an inevitable showdown with al Qaeda would ensue. Open confrontation with the West, as well as the possibility of a nuclear armed Caliphate, would bring the full military might of the Western World (those who value their freedom). The current operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Southeast and Central Asia and within the borders of Western nations would be tame in comparison to what would come. The Japanese, Germans and Italians discovered in World War II the price of wakening the American military psyche.

The West would basically have two options: (1) blitzkrieg 21st Century style - the full mobilization of its military and an accompanying sweep of the Islamic crescent, without regards for Politically Correct warfare; (2) nuclear war. Both campaigns would be designed to fully eliminate the Islamist threat, and the Muslim infrastructure, which allowed for the rise of al Qaeda's ideology.

Nothing like goal setting and long term planning to focus the mind.
 

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"The West would basically have two options: (1) blitzkrieg 21st Century style - the full mobilization of its military and an accompanying sweep of the Islamic crescent, without regards for Politically Correct warfare; (2) nuclear war. Both campaigns would be designed to fully eliminate the Islamist threat, and the Muslim infrastructure, which allowed for the rise of al Qaeda's ideology. "

Do we burn down our citries because we have rat problems? No - we put out rat bait, rat traps, and rat patrols - we measure and manage the enemy and when he FINALLY feels he's being channeled he will be less of a problem.

There is some sentiment that I have referred to elsewhere that the problems of Al Quaeda are many times less pressing than were the challenges of tracking the Soviet Navy or containing the Warsaw Pact.

Al Quaida is a product of a gap in oversight in the nations or regions where it is found. When the local constabulary are effective the threat will go away because it cannot flourish.

This means a long anti-rat campaign.
 
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