Things we need to know about the Long War

Summary:  Today we have a note by Mike Few about our Long War, one of the great public policy issues of America today. We post the work of many experts at the FM website. Usually I post them without comment. Today I’ll add an endorsement. All of Few’s articles deserve attention. This one even more than most. I agree with every line, and strongly recommend reading it.

Know your foe, know yourself, you can face a hundred battles without danger;
if you do not know your foe but know yourself, you will win one and lose one;
if you do not know your foe and do not know yourself, every battle will be lost.
— Sun Tzu’s Art of War (circa 6th Century BC)

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Contents

  1. Understand the Arab world
  2. Understand al Qaeda
  3. Events in Iraq are not a surprise
  4. Be wary of experts
  5. About Counter-Terrorists
  6. A Forecast
  7. A good place to start your research
  8. About the author
  9. For More Information

Comment by Mike Few

Made to the post Now that they’re in the game again, let’s ask “who is al Qaeda?”, 9 January 2014

Excellent review by Owen Bennett-Jones. I’ll try to add a couple of additional thoughts.

(1) Understand the Arab world

To understand al Qaeda (AQ), I spent a lot of time trying to understand the Arab world. In the bigger picture, I believe that the Arab world and Islam is undergoing it’s own internal Political and Religious Reformation. This process started almost a century ago as the Ottoman Empire crumbled and the Sykes-Picote treaty (see Wikipedia) drew new lines in the sand and created nation-states.

AQ is an ideology that provides an alternative to government and religion from the current hated norm. Thus, it has not died. It was never dead, and it resonates with some folks.

(2) Understand al Qaeda

If we want to understand AQ, then we must respect the ideology and stop dismissing it as terrorism. Terrorism is merely the form of political violence that AQ is using in order to gain power and maneuver space (Given their size, it is the only option that they have).

Instead, I think that we need to look at AQ in the same vein that we would consider the spirit of the American Revolution, the ideals of the French Revolution, and the initial ideals of the Russian Revolution. Previously (myself included), AQ was dismissed as akin to anarchist in the late 19th century angry at uncontrolled capitalism.

(3)  Events in Iraq are not a surprise

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Osama Bin Laden

The breakout of fighting in Iraq was predicted. What is currently happening is not a surprise to folks who spent a lot of time in these provinces (It caused many nightmares for me and great sadness).

Over the next year, we can expect the Sunnis to escalate in order to control Northern Syria, Anbar Province, Saladin Province, and Diyala Province in Iraq. The fighting is due to mistakes by both the Assad and Maliki govt’s inability to govern inclusively. Rather, they govern as a means of vengeance.

The question at hand is how much of the ideology of AQ will resonate or immerse into the way the Sunnis choose to govern. Don’t be fooled; these are not ungoverned spaces. They just aren’t governed by nation-states. (See also Kurdistan).

(4)  Be wary of experts

Currently, most experts are trying to justify and protect their published thoughts and theories promoting US military intervention in the form of COIN (i.e. their misreadings of the Malayan conflict). The funniest quote that I’ve read is “COIN cannot die because if their is an insurgency, then there must be counter-insurgency.”

This is stupid thinking that has led to trillions of dollars wasted and countless lives lost. Either through hubris or tunnel vision, they’ve lost the ability to think creatively and analytically.

Special Operations Command

(5)  About Counter-Terrorists

Read Nick Turse’s “Spec Ops Goes Global” over at TomDispatch. I’d ask that you try to stay objective.

I have a lot of good friends in that world. I disagree with their missions, but they honestly believe in them. I hope that Nick’s piece will lead to a public discourse on what we as a nation want our Spec Ops doing in foreign policy. They are no longer a small strategic asset used sparingly. They are the main effort. Thus, they cannot operate in the shadows, and we must take ownership for their actions.

(6)  A forecast

Unfortunately, unless we see major internal political reform, we can expect the next two decades to continue to be bloody in the Middle East. During this fighting (as with the last two decades in Iraq), we will see massive population displacements. I have no idea what the final lines in the sand will look like.

(7)  A good place to start your research

For those interested, all works cited in these books are provided free in English at USMA’s CTC {Combating Terrorism Center at West Point}. I’d recommend anyone that wants to better understand AQ to spend a day reading through the direct texts and draw your own conclusions. The CTC has been a national treasure for many us fighting in the so-called Long War over the last decade. You might find yourself surprised at how much we might agree with some of AQ’s grievances.

———————————————

(8)  About Mike Few

Mike Few (Major, US Army, Retired) served multiple tours in various command and staff positions in Iraq, and was a former Editor of the Small Wars Journal. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and studied small wars at the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA

Today he focuses on nation-building back home in North Carolina. See his articles at the Small Wars Journal., and these posts at the FM website:

(9)  For More Information

(a)  The other post by Mike Few:

(b)  Posts about our Special Operations Forces:

  1. The biggest re-branding exercise in the history of the world, 21 August 2010 — A new & darker image for America.
  2. Killing the leaders of our enemy. Is this the fast track to victory – or disaster?, 25 October 2010
  3. About the strategic significance of bin Laden’s execution, and the road not taken, 5 May 2011
  4. The men of US Special Operations Command are heroes. But are their deeds heroic?, 15 August 2011
  5. The military takes us back to the future. To Vietnam, again and again.. 14 March 2013

(c)  The current fighting in Iraq was quite obvious in 2008 — even 2007 — as the endgame, despite the crowing of the COIN folks about their pacification of Iraq. Here are some posts explaining why:

  1. The Iraq insurgency has ended, which opens a path to peace, 13 March 2007
  2. Beyond Insurgency: An End to Our War in Iraq, 27 September 2007:
  3. Iraq, after the war, 20 May 2008

(d)  Posts about other subjects discussed

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27 thoughts on “Things we need to know about the Long War

  1. Al Queda is born out of Saudi Arabia’s dream of turning all Sunni Muslims to look to it and its Wahhabi beliefs as what Islam is about. Had the Saudis and fellow Gulf Wahhabi’s not financed these Wahhabi soldiers and other ways to indoctrinate Sunni Muslims, this whole fanatacism would die a natural death.

    You need to keep in mind the timing of militant Sunni Muslims’ rise coincides with when the Arab countries got rich after the Oil Embargo. After that they have used their money to try to indoctrinate other Muslims.

    US’ long war is conflicted as oil dollar deal keeps dollar afloat. US leaders are well aware of Saudi connection. The Saudis do not want Islamist political parties. may give their own people ideas about getting rid of the ruling family. Hence they have sided with the miliatry against the Muslim Brotherhood, even though the Muslim Brotherhood was inspired by Wahhabi faith.

    This article discusses how Muslim Brotherhood first supported as a force against secular Arab regimes.
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article42271.html
    The CIA Said ‘Find An Islamic Billy Graham’

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    1. Winston,

      ” Had the Saudis and fellow Gulf Wahhabi’s not financed these Wahhabi soldiers and other ways to indoctrinate Sunni Muslims, this whole fanatacism would die a natural death.”

      Perhaps this is could have happened, but it didn’t, and it is irrelevant to how AQ is perceived today by young, unemployed Arab men who see no hope for the future, hate their governments, and blame US meddling and Israeli existence as the reason for many of their troubles.

      I could make the same argument that if the British had assassinated Thomas Paine or co-opted him after his voice gained traction, then there would not have been an revolt against the throne in the British American colonies. What does that have to do with Post-Carter American policy in the Middle East? Nothing.

      In reality, there is no unified “Saudi Arabian dream.” Rather, since it’s inception, the Kingdom has been a fragile partnership between the followers of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab and the House of Saud with completely separate interests. One seeks their version of religious purity; the other seeks consumption and unconstrained riches.

      “You need to keep in mind the timing of militant Sunni Muslims’ rise coincides with when the Arab countries got rich after the Oil Embargo.”

      Again, this is incorrect. The current rise in modern militant Sunni Muslims began in the 1920’s when Mustafa Kemal transformed Turkey from an Islamic Republic into a nation-state.

      Note- Everything in this comment is easily accessible in Wikipedia. For a deeper understanding, please read the direct text at USMA’s CTC.

      Like

    2. Mike raises an important point not well understood by Americans, about the pivotal role of rise of Turkey — under the leadership of Mustaa Kemal Ataturk.

      Ataturk led the revolutionary army (funded by the Soviet Union) against Greek and Armenian forces acting for British and French governments seeking to fragment and dominate Turkey as they did the core Middle East region. Their victory established a great State, which has yet to fulfill its potential.

      Fast forwarding to our time, here is a quote about The Long War from a post of mine explaining why we would lose our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (written in July 2005):

      A brief thought experiment illustrates our problem with local allies. Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal commanded the 19th Turkish Division at Gallipoli (April 1915). At the Battle of the Landing he successfully exhorted his troops with the command “I don’t order you to attack, I order you to die.”

      If you read of such a thing occurring today, on what side would you imagine this army was fighting? On our side? Or against us?

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    3. Winston is generally correct. Wahhabis are not to be confused with Sunnis.

      If we had any brains, which we do not, we would exploit this distinction by aligning with the more Sufic strains of Islam. I believe this is what Putin has done in Chechnya with some degree of success.

      Note that not only Saudi Arabia but also Qatar is sponsoring Whabbi expansion.

      Kemal Attaturk was a modernizing, WesternizingTurkish nationalist who has very little to do with the current situation.

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    4. Duncan,

      (1). “Winston is generally correct. Wahhabis are not to be confused with Sunnis.”

      You are *disagreeing* with Winston, not agreeing with him. His opening sentence conflates the two: “Al Queda is born out of Saudi Arabia’s dream of turning all Sunni Muslims to look to it and its Wahhabi beliefs as what Islam is about.”

      You are *agreeing* with Mike Few, not disagreeing with him. Few said: “In reality, there is no unified ‘Saudi Arabian dream.’ Rather, since it’s inception, the Kingdom has been a fragile partnership between the followers of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab and the House of Saud with completely separate interests. ”

      (2). “Note that not only Saudi Arabia but also Qatar is sponsoring Whabbi expansion.”

      The Gulf princes are echoes or copies of the Saudi Princes, to varying degrees.

      (3). “If we had any brains … we would exploit this distinction by aligning with the more Sufic strains of Islam.”

      These transparent attempts to manipulate foreign societies have an almost uniform record of failure.

      (4). “I believe this is what Putin has done in Chechnya with some degree of success.”

      I would be interested to some citations on this. It seems unlikely.

      (5). “Kemal Attaturk was a modernizing, WesternizingTurkish nationalist who has very little to do with the current situation.”

      You are looking at the situation thru Western eyes. Mike, as almost every expert does, says this prevents understanding.

      Ataturk’s successful resistance to European imperialists was the beginning of the modern Middle East, and looms large in their minds. Plus he remains a role model for others.

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    5. Hi Winston/Duncan,

      FM addressed most of the rebuttal, but I’ll add two thoughts:

      (1) Don’t underestimate the influence of Wahhabism/Salafism on the Sunni’s actions.

      One of my worst regrets out of Iraq was our inability to persuade families to stop their children from strapping on bombs, driving to Baqubah, and blowing themselves up in the market. (See “Dazed Iraqi teen suicide bomber says she didn’t want to die“, McClatchy, 25 August 2008). This began occuring about a year after I left.

      At the time, I was working out of villages in the Diyala River Province. We would beg the families to keep their children out of the war; however, AQI and Wahhabist factions were able to recruit non-religious, angry teenagers as suicide bombers. These kids had simply lost hope and wanted to kill themselves and take out as many others as they could.

      (2) From the Arab perspective, forced western modernization is one of the root causes of the current environment of the Middle East. AQ, and other idealogies like them, offer a form of self-determination.

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    6. Re: Putin and the Sufi’s in Chechnya:

      A quick Google search yielded this article. It is unflattering, but nevertheless suffices to indicate that Putin has indeed indeed forged a link with Chechnya’s Sufi leader, Kadrov.

      Putin’s Medieval Peace Pact in Chechnya” By Ben Judah, op-ed at Bloomberg, 25 April 2013.

      This is a major subject. Google “Putin Kadrov” for gazillions of links.

      My Middle East policy for decades has been “develop solar power and get the hell out of there.” Needless to say, I am in no position to implement my policy and really do not anticipate being so situated anytime soon. In the meantime, if people must meddle in that region, they best had learn about it. And conflating Al Qada and Sufis because both are Sunnis makes about as much sense as conflating Branch Davidians with High Church Anglicans because both are Protestant.

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    7. Duncan,

      (1) “suffices to indicate that Putin has indeed indeed forged a link with Chechnya’s Sufi leader, Kadrov.”

      Thanks for the link. My question was not about forging a link with a Sufi leader, but on the results of doing so. That is, the “with some degree of success” you reported.

      (2) Solar power allowing us to “get out of the Middle East.

      That’s probably not going to replace oil anytime in the next generation — or more. Oil is mostly used as fuel for transportation; solar is largely used to generate electricity (hopefully replacing coal, an VERY dirty energy source). Massive improvements in energy storage are needed for the latter to replace the former (hybrids & electrics are novelties for the affluent).

      A good place for info on that, uncontaminated by the hype of auto co’s: the National Academies of Sciences. They’ve published great work on this important subject:

      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12826

      http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49476

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    8. Duncan,

      The Bloomberg op-ed by Ben Judah says that Putin’s alliance with Kadrov has been a failure. I don’t see anything implying the “some degree of success” you describe. Note the opening:

      Vladimir Putin said when he first ran for president in 2000 that his “historic mission” was to resolve the situation in the North Caucasus. To do so, he oversaw a second war in Chechnya, already devastated by Russia’s failed attempt to subdue the republic in 1994-1996.

      Instead of solving the North Caucasus issue, however, Putin created a monster. To end the fighting, he cut a deal with Chechnya’s rebel Kadyrov clan: In exchange for loyalty to the Kremlin, they received power and reconstruction aid.

      This was a medieval deal that made Akhmad Kadyrov, a rebel commander and Sufi mufti, Putin’s feudal liege. The aim was to co-opt the more religiously moderate Sufis among Chechnya’s rebel fighters, marginalize the Salafist jihadists who appear to have fascinated the Boston bombers, and enable the Russian military to declare victory and draw down.

      It was a false triumph. Kadyrov was assassinated in 2004. But under his son, Ramzan, Chechnya today remains a gray zone, neither independent, nor under Russian control, nor at peace.

      And the last paragraph:

      Putin can’t rule forever. Because Putin can’t solve the Kadyrov problem, it is likely to explode the moment his grip on power falters. Whether the result is an independent Chechnya, a weak leader in Moscow unable to control Kadyrov, or a third Chechen war, Putin has failed in his “historic mission” — to resolve the North Caucasus issue. Chechnya remains fertile territory for conflict.

      Rather than “some degree of success”, Ben Judah’s analysis seems to support my statement that “These transparent attempts to manipulate foreign societies have an almost uniform record of failure.”

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    9. Chechnya has been a “success” in the narrow sense that Putin has it under his thumb and basically squashed the rebellion.

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    10. Duncan,

      That was not my point. His alliance with Sufi leaders to divide Islamic support has not helped, by any account I have seen.

      Putin has used the traditional Czarist tools of alliances with local warlords plus brutal force.

      I do not know why you are so insistent on this. Even the article you cited says otherwise.

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    11. We can only speculate what solar power ( or other alternative energy sources ) could do if only we had instead spent the odd trillion we spent on Iraq on R&D for energy instead.

      Like

  2. Many Thanks to FM and to Mike Few,

    This is a wonderful post. Very illuminating.

    I see I have a lot of reading to do.

    One thought about the young suicide bombers. ” These kids had simply lost hope and wanted to kill themselves and take out as many others as they could.”

    Are these the same motives involved in the many school shootings and maybe the Aurora Theater and Virginia Tech massacres?
    If there is a psychological similarity, how do we prevent some group from recruiting our young people to engage in acts of terrorism here?

    Is the solution to fill these young people with “hope” ?

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    1. Hi Doug,

      I don’t know the answer. I suspect that there’s two ways to look at it:

      1. How do societies rebuild mentally and spiritually after conflict?

      2. How have refugees (Lost Boys, Somalies) handled being removed from the traumatic environment
      having found shelter in the US?

      Mike

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    2. Doug,

      Suicide bombers are nothing new in warfare. Young Americans flew suicide missions at Midway; later the Japanese Kamikaze applied a more extreme version of these attacks. The first recorded version is far older. The first suicide bomber in the first failed counterinsurgency, from the First Book of the Maccabees, 1.6.43:

      “Now Eleazar saw that one of the {elephants} was equipped with royal armor. It was taller than all the others, and he supposed that the king was on it. So he gave his life to save his people and to win for himself an everlasting name. He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach it … He got under the elephant, stabbed it from beneath, and killed it; but it fell to the ground upon him and he died.”

      There are no answers as to why people become suicide bombers, but there has been some good work done trying to find them. I recommend these two.

      (1) Their Martyrs and Our Heroes” an essay by John Feffer, TomDispatch, 8 August 2009.

      (2) Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It by Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman (U Chicago Press, 2010). See the first chapter here.

      Summary:

      Almost every week, suicide bombers attack. We know the danger — suicide attacks kill more people than all other forms of terrorism — and in response we have sacrificed the lives of soldiers and civilians, trillions of dollars, and America’s reputation abroad in a futile quest for absolute security. But do we really understand what drives people to deliberately kill themselves on a mission to harm the innocent?

      Cutting the Fuse offers a wealth of new knowledge about the origins of suicide terrorism and strategies to stop it. Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman have examined every suicide terrorist attack worldwide from 1980 to 2009. Their work fundamentally changes how we understand the root causes of the most important terrorist campaigns today and reveals why the War on Terror has been ultimately counterproductive.

      Since 2004, the number of suicide attacks — whether within a country or transnational—has grown with shocking speed. Through a close analysis of suicide campaigns by Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, the authors provide powerful new evidence that, contrary to popular and dangerously mistaken belief, only a tiny minority of these attacks are motivated solely by religion. Instead, the root cause is foreign military occupation, which triggers secular and religious people alike to carry out suicide attacks.

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  3. Mike, US government and even EU is aware that Saudis and Gulf Wahhabis are supporting these militants. The information is easily available on line. I should point out that this is not the first time that a group with a distinct view has used violence in Islam to enforce its views on others. Extremists of the Kharijite did that soon after the Prophets death. Their view of Islam was far more modern and contradicts the Saudi supported view of Islam. The Kharijites believed in the equality of both genders and they demanded universal suffrage for selection of leaders. In their view this was what should be enforced based on the Quran. Yet the Saudis, quite the opposite believe many centuries later!

    I should also add that the Wahhabi perspective was introduced in India by the Deobandis BEFORE Mustafa Kamal. However, there was no use of violence until after Embargo led to Saudi and Gulf Oil rulers becoming wealthy and then Afghanistan helped them learn how to use Jihadis in places of conflict. Howevre, they also peacefully infllrate insidiously as can be seen what has transpired in Aceh after the Tsunami.

    Islam has always had progressive and illiberal viewpoints. In fact, if you watch the BBC documentary on Muslim Spain, you will see how Bedouins who came to help the Muslims towards the end of their presence in Spain, the were shocked by the libertines of Muslim Spain. Yet it was these libertines that were the source of the Renaissance in Europe, which began in Spain and was snuffed out there because Ferdinand and Isabella were fundamentalist and in Christianity had more in common with the Bedouin’s than the Muslims of Spain.

    Like

    1. Winston,

      “Mike, US government and even EU is aware that Saudis and Gulf Wahhabis are supporting these militants. The information is easily available on line.”

      What leads you to believe that Mike is not aware of this?

      That is quite an odd opening to your comment. Bizarre, even.

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  4. About suicide bombers. Tamil Tigers used suicide bombers (who were Hindus);but they were generally more circumspect than the Jihadis in their use, in terms of their targets. The first vehicle bomb exploded in New York City by Sacco and Venzetti, who were anarchists.

    MikeF You saw the Wahhabi influence. They are very cynical. I am wondering if they are taking advantage of people who may be depressed/ have mental illnesses. Mental illness is a taboo subject in these cultures. Pakistan remains a boiiing pot thanks to Jihadis.

    Two recent events highlight how they are attacking Shias and other Sunnis in Pakistan, who follow beliefs that are much older than Wahhabi in their roots. The real goal of Wahhabis is to dominate Sunni countries with their view of Islam and to erase others. They are attacking Shias because they do not even consider them to be Muslims! Non Wahhabi Sunnis do not believe this.

    “Reports say the incident took place on Monday in Ibrahimzai, a Shia-dominated region of Hangu. The Shia, along with other religious minorities, have increasingly been the targets of deadly attacks in Pakistan. ”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/aitzaz-hassan-death-im-proud-my-son-stopped-pakistan-suicide-bomber-says-father-9049985.html
    Aitzaz Hassan death: I’m proud my 15 year old son stopped Pakistan suicide bomber, says father
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1079212/why-would-anyone-kill-to-preach-religion
    ‘Why would anyone kill to preach religion?’

    First article in MSM discussing what is happening in India in the South
    http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/wahhabi-impact/article5338336.ece

    FRONTLINE

    Wahhabi impact

    Muslim labor going to these countries is getting indoctrinated and revealing how weak minded people can be. The Muslims of Southern India have long been followers of a really progressive strain;but even they are getting indoctrinated. I guess money turns some people’s minds in the wrong direction! It quite clear the Wahhabis are a primitive people and not even very competent. After all most labor in Saudi Arabia is foreign, while their is a growing unemployment time bomb. Malaysia with a similar sized population doesn’t hire 80% of foreigners to do jobs in their country! I will say this my Sunni friends-all of whom are not Wahhabi think the Saudis are evil and their enemy.
    They say Saudis are destroy social fabric of their country by creating intolerance for others.

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    1. Winston,

      “The first vehicle bomb exploded in New York City by Sacco and Venzetti, who were anarchists.”

      No.

      They were anarchists who were convicted — probably falsely — of murdering two men during the 1920 armed robbery of a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts.

      Again, that is an odd opening to your comment.

      Like

    2. Hi Winston,

      I’m not quite sure what you are asking, but each comment has symptoms of the issue (oil, money, mental health, etc..)

      Only looking at the symptoms has lead to dangerous assumptions and actions over the past sixty years.

      For example, do Wahhabis take advantage of people that are depressed? Yes, they drug them and strap bombs to their chest.

      If we only look at symptoms, then we come up with stupid ideas:

      1. invade and promote democracy,
      2. win hearts and minds,
      3. education and mental health programs for NGO’s will cure all ills.

      The root problem in the Middle East is a structure problem. They never had self-determination. Rather, they had the nation-state shoved down their throats. Also, there has never been a true reformation of Islam.

      I believe that what we are seeing now is their political and religious reformation. The best thing that we can do is stay out of the way.

      If you’re curious about what I saw during my final tour, then I’d offer these three articles {from the Small Wars Journal}.

      1. The Break Point: AQIZ Establishes the ISI in Zaganiayh
      2. Love and Hate
      3. The Pacification of Zaganiyah (Part One): Fighting for Intelligence to Overcome the Information Gap

      Like

  5. Dr. Bacevich’s latest Op-Ed is probably the best way to end this thread. He has been a great mentor to me over the last four years. Specifically, he advised me not to pursue a career as an expert in war- best advice I was ever given. Today, outside of occasional comments on FM’s website, I focus on using my skills to help my own town, state, and country.

    The misuse of American might, and the price it pays“, Andrew Bacevich (Colonel, US Army, retired; now Prof History at Boston U), op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, 12 January 2014 — “The United States no longer knows how to win wars, but it continues to start them”

    What then is to be done? That which Washington is least capable of undertaking: Those charged with formulating policy must think anew. For starters, that means lowering expectations regarding the political effectiveness of war, which is demonstrably limited.

    Take force off the metaphorical table to which policymakers regularly refer. Rather than categorizing violence as a preferred option, revive the tradition of treating it as a last resort. Then get serious about evaluating the potential for employing alternative forms of power, chiefly economic and cultural, to advance American interests. The result won’t be a panacea. But it won’t cost as much as open-ended war. And rather than creating new problems, this alternative approach just might solve some old ones.

    Like

  6. FM
    Thank you for partially correcting me. The first vehicle bomb did take place in Wall Street;but was not detonated by Sacco and Venzetti (who I confised with Buda).

    Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bom

    Like

  7. MikeF

    Muslims need to learn to put Shariah in its place- to accept it in a much reduced form. AQ and Wahhabis choose Shariah over the Quran, when it is known fact that Shariah suffers from lots of problems as to inserting personal biases etc. over the years. What it has often contradicts what the Quran has.
    http://www.newsmax.com/TawfikHamid/Shariah-Quran-Islam/2009/12/12/id/341830
    Shariah Law Shouldn’t Be Called Religion

    When you say Islam needs a reformation you need to consider, it already has diverse groups which emerged in Christianity after reformation. The closest form to Catholicism in Islam is what the Shias have. Each Shia group has its own “Pope” equivalent.

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  8. MikeF, you said ” the Kingdom has been a fragile partnership between the followers of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab and the House of Saud with completely separate interests. One seeks their version of religious purity; the other seeks consumption and unconstrained riches.” I disagree. The Kingdom takes it legitimacy from Wahhab, wears its garb to keep the people subservient. That is what the Vice Police are about and driving bans for women.
    http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2156259,00.html#ixzz2jL2rM19j
    Zakaria: The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!
    Why we shouldn’t care that the world’s most irresponsible country is displeased at the U.S.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/our-friends-the-saudis/
    Our Friends the Saudis
    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Jonathan+Manthorpe+Saudi+Arabia+funding+fuels+jihadist+terror/8445197/story.html
    Jonathan Manthorpe: Saudi Arabia funding fuels jihadist terror
    http://dawn.com/2011/05/22/saudi-arabia-uae-financing-extremism-in-south-punjab/
    Saudi Arabia, UAE financing extremism in south Punjab
    http://www.france24.com/en/20120929-how-saudi-arabia-petrodollars-finance-salafist-winter-islamism-wahhabism-egypt
    How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding
    WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists
    http://www.countercurrents.org/hussain280213.htm
    The Saudi Arabization of Islam
    By the way there is an interesting case about the Sarasota Saudis
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/03/3430633/mystery-of-sarasota-saudis-deepens.html
    Mystery of Sarasota Saudis deepens as Justice moves to end lawsuit citing national security
    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130927/ARTICLE/130929683
    Miami Herald joins suit asking FBI for 9/11 documents

    You say militant Sunnis started wit Turkey. Sunnis have always had a fundamentalist strain long before Turkey. But they didn’t take up guns and go to infest countries as they have since the Oil Embargo.

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    1. Winston,

      “But they didn’t take up guns and go to infest countries as they have since the Oil Embargo.”

      No.

      They were expansionistic from the start, which is how they expanded from a few tribes around Mecca and Medina to cover much of that hemisphere (not relying on guns until the end phase).

      They then were pushed back, to become a conquered people — until Ataturk started the long recovery (try your theory with some Armenians; but stay out of arm reach). Which was Mike’s point.

      You and Duncan are arguing against simple facts. I find this really discouraging.

      Like

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