Anyone who believes that we are winning the so called “Global War on Terrorism” has not endured an airport screening lately. Winning the peace would mean that you could board a plane as stress free as you did before 9-11. No, what we see and feel in today’s America is not what peace looks like. This is what continuous war feels like, and it appears that our side is further from victory than we were in November of 2001 when Kabul fell to U.S. backed Northern Alliance. The strategy to win this long war is yet to be designed. Apparently there are no strategists in the Pentagon. Our generals operate at an operational level at best or perhaps even worse, as revelations concerning retired General Petraeus would indicate, maybe today’s generals make love not war.
Before FAOs can develop and implement strategies, the ruling class must first have the courage to identify and name the enemy. Did killing Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden help you to sleep more comfortably? Probably not, because by ridding the world of these two evil monsters we did little to weaken the enemy’s center of gravity. But who is the enemy and what is his center of gravity? Nearly two decades after 9-11 and that question remains unanswered, even unasked.
Do Salafists, as commanded by their Koran, mean to either convert non-Muslims to Islam, make us dhimmis (second class citizen with no real rights), or failing that, kill us? If so, they should be named as enemies of the United States. On the other hand if you believe that Salafists will choose to violate this fundamental precept and let non-Muslims live and let live, there is no reason to continue reading this post. The center of gravity in this long war is the support that certain regimes provide to Salafism. FAOs will develop strategies that cause those regimes to cease providing that support or replace them with regimes that will not.
This must be an “all in” commitment by our citizens and politicians, not just another forgotten police action fought by our soldiers and Marines. We escaped relatively unharmed from the wars in Vietnam and Korea because our enemy was not motivated by religion. The American people, by and large, do not understand the Islamic-supremacist ideology. Prospects for defeating this enemy would be enhanced if Congress would debate the nature of the threat and declare war on regimes that actively support anti-American jihad. America is in a long war not of her choosing. In order to ensure the long term support of the American public during this clash of civilizations, the ruling class needs to get serious.