Thursday, February 21, 2008

4GW Part 4: Is There a There?

Is there an Elephant? I think it is important to address the question whether this 4th Generation Warfare has any meat. I'm somewhat reminded of the Blind Men and the Elephant story. Many look at just one aspect of world affairs and do not put together the big picture. Some actually deny the connections. Look, the argument is simple. Islamic Terrorism has these characteristics:
Globally supported by radicalized Islamic populations that are both supremacists and militant. Regionally supported and sponsored by Islamofacist or extremist Islamic nations. -
Entrenched in several region's governmental bodies or very closely related thereto.
Uses classic "soft target" terrorism.
Does not openly hold territory, major military assets, nor any sort of battle-lines.
Uses media to propagandize the base and their enemies.
Openly, genocidal and expansionist.
Uses infiltration tactics.
Conflict occurs ad hoc with no time line or context.
Is the Elephant a problem? Well, yeah, duh: 9/11. But also no. People die everyday. A massacre occurs every decade or so. So, really, you can just sit back right? Well, no, because the Islamofacists tend to follow up. After Israel won the war in '48, the various militia/liberation groups were hard at work bombing and attacking and demanding concessions up through the Yom Kippur War in '74. And when the Egyptian President signed a peace treaty he ended up dead. During the Cold War this was sort of quaint, but with the proliferation of WMD it means that something different. These previously minor nations are now growing in power and WMD-terror is possible, along more conventional attacks. For example: mining the Strait of Hormuz combined with a chemical attack on a major US city.

So, how do you eat an elephant? Some say we need to use Law Enforcement. Some say we just need to calm the "Arab street," or go even further and launch into a far left, roundabout justification of terror and 9/11. Some say we just need to use (gag) "special forces." Some say Afghan war: yes, Iraq war: no.

Look, anyone that thinks the we are to blame for 9/11 is both wrong and irrelevant. We aren't switching to that viewpoint in America anytime soon I think (and pray). We can't use Law Enforcement to do intelligence work and, at least right now, we are playing catch-up. Some point to the take down of some terror group in Jordan as proof LE can handle the GWOT. I submit Jordan is different from Iran or Afghanistan. As for "special forces," I can't encapsulated into a few sentences how wrongheaded I find that notion. Ultimately, you have to accept that if you only feel comfortable with war when it is fought covertly, you're not going to pull the trigger 9 times out of 10 (and you're kind of weak, like in the 90s). So, the rejoinder comes back; I'm for the GWOT but Iraq was a bad move. Well, maybe, but, gee, Saddam was the next evil Islamofacist guy on the list and he was begging for it. Some say there's lots of bad guys out there; are we going to fight them all? How do you eat an Elephant?

One bite at time.

[Ed. Note- Read genie junkie's other Fourth-Generation Warfare posts:
4GW Part 1: What is Peace?
4GW Part 2: The End of History
4GW Part 3: Losing Iraq, "non-war" war in home-front politics
4GW Part 4: Is There a There?
4GW Part 5: Pros and Neo-cons of Fighting 4GW]

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