"The enemy we’re facing in the war on terror, al Qaeda, says they are fighting a jihad against the West to establish the faith of Islam. Now, if that’s their doctrine, then arguably that is the doctrine that we template, irrespective of whether their interpretation of jihad or their discussion of Islam within the theological community of Muslims is correct or incorrect; that is irrelevant to our discussion and understanding of how the enemy presents his doctrine to us, and it is his doctrine that we template over the terrain.
In the Cold War with the Soviet Union, we templated their military forces over physical ground. In the context of this irregular war or the long war, we have to template this enemy’s doctrine over the human and cultural terrain. That’s when these human, cultural, historical factors will then shape the doctrine and explain to us how it may or may not manifest itself all around the world. And we do say we’re in a global war on terror, so that means not just Afghanistan, not just Iraq, it means right here in the United States.
As a military officer, I try to think strategically and speak strategically. These are important strategic-first questions that I think we have to answer. If you were to deconstruct, for example, our national security documents on national security strategies, the national military strategic plan for the war on terror . . . and try to define the enemy in the war on terror from those documents, you cannot do it. It is obscure, it is ephemeral. Consequently I think it’s very hard to orient courses of action against an enemy that we have not precisely defined. We have to define the enemy, who and what he is, and generally speaking, in the Cold War we were very clear on that with the Soviet Union, because we knew who they were intellectually, philosophically, we understood Soviet strategic culture, we understood the history of the Soviet Union, and we understood their authoritative published doctrine. And we haven’t published the authoritative doctrine of the enemy in the war on terror. We focus on al Qaeda and violent actors, we focus at the tip of the spear to prevent terrorist attacks on the homeland. We are orienting all our resources, intelligence, homeland defense, against preventing attacks. We have very few resources, in my view, oriented on everything that leads up to the point of attack — the radicalization process. And because we don’t have a model for the war on terror, we don’t fully even understand what that radicalization process looks like. What is the infrastructure of it? Who’s involved in it? What is the ideology undergirding that radicalization process? So we still, I would argue, seven years into the war on terror, have big gaps in our strategic thinking about the fight we’re in. I think those gaps explain some of the challenges we are facing in the prosecution of this war, such as, at least from what I’ve read in media sources, strategic communications programs."
Monday, May 19, 2008
An interview with U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Meyers offers some well-needed clarity of condition to those of us who constantly wonder how the U.S. can be so bumblingly stupid and inept from top to bottom in this war, despite all the good advice available. Meyers, to his credit, and like Gen. George S. Patton before him is a student of military history, but he, unlike the sob-sisters at the Dept. of State is pursuing his studies down the dark and pustulent alleys of the history of jihad warfare as promulgated by Muslims--a field of study all but neglected by his peers and his betters. Col. Meyers was interviewed recently by Matt Korade at Congressional Quarterly, Inc. An excerpt follows, but for Christ's sake read the whole dang thing.