Where Do You Go
When There's No High Road
Left To Take?

click.jpg

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pessimism About The Long War

From the BBC (with thanks to Michael):


100 Year War?

Grappling with global terror conundrum


The world's anti-terrorism experts met for a conference in Stockholm this week and, as Roger Hardy, the BBC's Islamic Affairs Analyst, found, optimism was in short supply.


As the event began - at a conference centre overlooking the famous Stockholm waterfront - we stood in silent commemoration of the victims of the Madrid train bombings of 2004.

It was a sign, had we needed one, that we were gathered in the Swedish capital to discuss one of the most important and difficult issues of our time.

The participants came at the topic from every angle.

There were senior soldiers and policemen, intelligence professionals, diplomats, think-tank experts, a handful of journalists - and, on the fringes, salesmen eager to explain the latest gadgets, designed to make us feel safer in a dangerous world.

Counter insurgency

Our common concern was how do you defeat an insurgency - and the phrase invoked more than once was T E Lawrence's dictum that it is like eating soup with a knife.

He, after all, was in a position to know, having led a much-romanticised Arab insurgency against the Turks in the First World War.


Insurgencies of course are not new.


At one point, delegates trooped off to see that classic Sixties film The Battle of Algiers - the moral of which is that a Western country, however powerful (and even one that is ready to resort to torture) will fail to crush an insurgency if it faces determined popular resistance.

Now the West and its allies are trying to adapt the lessons drawn from past insurgencies to help them fight a new kind of war.

Even defining the conflict is problematic. US President George W Bush dubbed it the "war on terror".

Others now prefer to call it a "global insurgency". Still others think that term is not quite right either.

Ideological struggle

But whatever it is, it is posing a whole host of dilemmas for those who are fighting it.

Above all, this new war is being fought, not just on the battlefield, but in the mind.

The West and its Islamist adversaries are competing for Muslim opinion - and that means Muslim opinion in Birmingham and Jakarta, as well as Baghdad and Kabul.


So in this battle for hearts and minds, how do you protect law-abiding Muslims, while continuing to capture or kill the violent ones?

And can you be sure you can tell the difference?

One British defence expert remarked: "We're not looking for a needle in a haystack - we're looking for a piece of straw in a haystack."

Everyone is having to reinvent their traditional role.

Soldiers are no longer just fighters but nation-builders.

Policemen must visit mosques and explain what they do to sceptical Muslim congregations.

Intelligence people are trying to get into the minds of an enemy they only dimly understand.

Government departments can no longer operate as "stovepipes" - the favourite jargon nowadays for agencies which do not co-operate with one another and sometimes do not even speak to one another.

It is clear there are still significant differences of approach - not least between the Americans, who tend to see terrorism as a form of war, and the Europeans, who tend to see it as a form of crime.

And, as the conference made plain, Europeans are far from being united in their perception of Muslim radicalism in Europe - and how their governments and societies should respond to it.

Pessimistic predictions

There is an abiding fear of social division.

The Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad polarised Muslim and non-Muslim opinion in Europe - and now there are fears that a film about the Koran, made by a right-wing Dutch politician, could do the same.

As for those salesmen for whom the conference was essentially a marketing opportunity, I had to confess to being technically challenged.

I never did master "predictive analytics" - and my favourite bit of gobbledy-gook was "open computer forensics architecture" - or OCFA for short.

And if, like me, you do an internet search for it, you may not end up much the wiser.

It is now widely recognised that Muslim hearts and minds matter

What struck me most, in three days of debate, was the degree of pessimism about the task at hand.
Yes, there has been a learning curve.

It is now widely recognised that Muslim hearts and minds matter and that military successes mean little if the battle of ideas is being lost.

But there is still a long way to go.

This came home to me when I spoke to an American military man who had helped produce the US Counter-Insurgency Manual.

How long did he think the "long war" - as many now call it - would last?

It is the kind of question journalists ask, and I did not expect that he would put a number on it.
But he did. "Thirty years if we get it right," he said. "A hundred years if we get it wrong."


I predict we won't win this war until we have stopped "competing for" the hearts and minds of Muslims.

It is up to them to seperate themselves from the radicals in their midst.

We are under attack within our own borders by those who would weaken us by taming us into lethargy, taking away our freedoms, and replacing them with Sharia law.

How can we win against such an attack without doing things that are going to turn off the "hearts and minds of Muslims"?
Bookmark and Share
posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

10 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

Muslim hearts and souls do matter..they should turn to the one true G_d.......of Abraham. Christian or Jew...but leave Satan's evil cult.

That is all that matters. "Democracy" and "Nation building" is done by Islam's useful idiots....and obvious converts to that vile apostasy.

Where is Pope Urban when we need him?

Sunday, March 16, 2008 12:09:00 am  
Anonymous revereridesagain said...

One of the first things you do when trying to "deprogram" someone from a cult is take all cult materials away from them and cut off their contact with other cult members. Instead, we get talked into giving Korans to the jihadists at Gitmo and allow them access to all sorts of people who eagerly reaffirmed their victim status in their own minds.

I figure 100 years at least.

Oh yeah, and we think seriously about electing as president some guy out of nowhere whose preacherman denounces us for having beaten the Empire of Japan.

150, more like it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 1:14:00 am  
Blogger Michael said...

We are unrealistic pussies.

Unless we re-learn how to believe in ourselves, honour our Founders, and defend our culture and legacy of Freedom and Liberty, we are sunk.

I give the Republic 10 years...tops.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 3:10:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

I think IBA ought to start selling Pope Urban t-shirts.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 3:56:00 am  
Blogger Michael said...

Great idea! I'd buy one!

Don't know who Keith....er, uh.. I mean POPE Urban was? Check out the "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Crusades!"

I have no intention of suffering this shit for 100 years............by that time I could be impotent!


War

Sunday, March 16, 2008 4:22:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT - Pastorius, what qualifies Ashley Dupre to be designated "infidel babe of the week"? Are you aware of the Arabic tatoos she bears on her body?. ..that her best clients were Arabs?

Dhimmi of the week - maybe . . .

Sunday, March 16, 2008 5:34:00 am  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

The choice is long or bloody.

We play the hand we are dealt.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 10:31:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Anonymous,

"a smoky-eyed Dupre, sporting tattoos in both Latin and Arabic. Some of them read: "What does not destroy me makes me stronger," "Protect your own," and "Never give up." "


No, I didn't know about that. With the sayings that she chose to have indelibly printed on her body, she reveals that she is a Muslim in mind, if not in heart.

Ok, pick a new babe of the week. I don't have one in mind.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 12:33:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Michael,
And what fun would it be converting all those emburqa'd women, were you impotent in the aftermath of the war?

Sunday, March 16, 2008 12:35:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Michael said, I give the Republic 10 years...tops.

If things keep going the way they are, I think 10 years is an accurate time frame. In fact, a young Arab who's a Christian told me last October that in 10 years we'll have IED's going off all over the place. He also added, "We have no leaders."

Sunday, March 16, 2008 1:01:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home