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Thursday, February 22, 2007

How Not to Win a War on Terror

Consider this a open forum post. Add your two cents as necessary.

I'm increasingly frustrated with how the security of this country is being compromised, ever edging us back toward a Pre-911 mentality. Here are some things I've personally observed that are obviously not helping our country.

How to lose the war on terror:

Step 1: Give in to your short attention span.

While I was standing in line at a checkout (this was sometime in 2003 or 2004), I overheard one person say to another "I'm tired of hearing about 9-11 already. It's been X number of years and nothing has happened since."

That quote still bounces back and forth inside my head, trying to escape. If I ever suffer an anuerism, I blame that man. I can only hope that this person at least has some small idea why nothing has happened to us since 9/11/01.

We haven't been "safe" for so long because the terrorists have lost interest. We all need to factor that into the equation before we spout off.

Step 2: Appear divided.

Is this the first time someone's told you that doubting the war gives comfort to our enemies?

You don't have to like the war and you don't have to agree with every decision made. You just have to act like you want our enemy to lose.

The democrat leadership has (generally) done one thing right from a public relations standpoint. They've tried to separate their distaste for the president and the war from the appearance that they don't support the troops. They're failing, however, to convince anybody that they intend to defeat terrorism.

Withdrawl or surrender in Iraq gets us nowhere fast, if there is no plan to combat terrorism. We should have already learned, from Osama Bin Laden's own press releases, that backing down is a huge morale booster for our enemy. If we choose to take troops out of Iraq because it's a failure, or it's a quagmire, or it's not part of the war on terror then we need to deploy those troops in a way that is more effective to fighting terrorists. Where is that plan?

Step 3: Keep doing the same thing (expecting different results).

This is huge!

After the World Trade Center collapsed, there was a major effort to rethink the way our security and military agencies operated. We were told that this was the "new warfare" and that traditional methods weren't going to work.

So, how well are those new methods working? Have they filtered down to the lowest levels, yet?

I think my buddy who just returned from Afghanistan has the answer. His base was attacked, he said, about twice a week on average. A couple of jerks with rockets would set up, usually at night, and take pot shots. This was obviously a stressful situation to be in, but they "got used to it" after a while.

The truly infuriating part is that our people knew who was lobbing the rockets at the base and knew how to get to him. Because of the rules of engagement, they needed to catch him in the act in order to stop him.

The hesitation, of course, is that it looks very bad to be wrong when you attack a non-military target in a non-military area. But, which part of "new war" are we forgetting? If we can set standards for gathering reliable intel what's the problem with a surgical strike to take out a persistent pest?

I certainly hope that these aren't the same rules of engagement that we're using to fight the Iraqi insurgents. We'll never get to them this way!

Your comments

There's probably plenty more that I'm leaving off. Here's your invitation to vent.