In our book Endgame, The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror, we emphasized that we were attacked on 9/11 by Islamic Extremists that are driven by an ideology just as evil and ingrained by its adherents as Nazism, Fascism and Communism. Islamic Extremism will be defeated by a two-part strategy similar to the ones we used to defeat those other ideologies. In those conflicts, we had a Forward Strategy and a Defensive Strategy (Homeland Defense). Each compliments the other but offense wins the victory. Defense only prevents homeland damage but not global defeat.
In Endgame we further stated that on 9/11 we had eight Web of Terror nations that we faced as threats. President Bush identified two as Axis of Evil Nations, North Korea, and Iran and we added Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The latter two are enablers whose populations and elements of government were supporters of this violent ideology that was hijacking Islam itself. To date we have changed regimes in two, Afghanistan and Iraq plus a third Libya self eliminated itself by turning in a treasure trove of nuclear secrets and appears to want to rejoin the civilized world. Needless to say President Bush’s Proliferation Security Initiative and quick take down of Saddam Hussein encouraged them to comply. Iran looms on the horizon as it drives for nuclear hegemony in the region and along with Syria continues to aid the terrorists in Iraq. We will have to change these regimes but with a different model than we used in Iraq, more along the Afghanistan model by helping the people take their countries back. So our forward strategy is progressing fairly well but running into some headwind politically in the US led by significant parts of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, both whom have a political agenda that has nothing to do with defeating Islamic Extremism.
This Cut and Run crowd does not recognize that the forward strategy is essential just as it was in WWII and the Cold War. We had millions of troops overseas in WWII and almost a half million during the Cold War. Germany, Italy and Japan were defeated with forces in theater and Communism was defeated with forces forward deployed into Korea, Japan, Philippines and throughout Central Europe. Today we are forward deployed into Afghanistan and Iraq plus other locations in the Middle East. It took us about 40 years to defeat Communism and two intense combat theaters in Korea and Vietnam plus numerous other campaigns like the Berlin Airlift, Berlin Wall Crises and the Cuban Missile crisis to eventually win. However, the Cut and Run strategists do not appreciate that we must change the region and apparently think defending ports and shopping malls alone will defeat Islamic Extremism. They don’t get it. We must take the fight to the Islamic Extremists on their territory and it will be intense and ugly at times. As a matter of fact Cut and Run doesn’t address how they will defeat this ideology let alone acknowledge that it is the threat. They just want out and say if we leave things will get better.
The Bush Administration has done a good job of projecting forces and changing regimes to date, not so good explaining why. Clearly the Islamic Extremists recognize that Iraq is the central front in this War on Terror and they are fighting literally to the death, as they know that if they fail, the region will be well on the road to a democracy. This transition to democracy will spell doom to their vision and objective of a global caliphate. Conversely, if they are successful and gain the wealth of Iraq coupled with Iran’s potential deployment of a nuclear capability, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will roll up quickly. They will control the majority of the world’s oil reserves and you will see gasoline at $15 a gallon. This economic wealth coupled with the radical ideology will put the world on a collision course with the Islamic Extremists.
If Europe has succumbed to Islamic Extremism through demographics, our challenges will be daunting. They are well on the road to this outcome and Europe is still in denial. Yet the Cut and Run crowd does not recognize this eventuality as they are blinded with their political rage against President Bush. Rage and denial are not strategies. Nor have leaders of the US, Europe and Asia recognized that Islam needs a Reformation and Renaissance that some Muslims have written about like former Indonesian President Wahid’s OP ED Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam in the Wall Street Journal on Dec 30, 2005, Dr Tawfik Hamid –The Roots of Islam and former PLO terrorists Walid Shoebat – Why I left Jihad. Doesn’t the Cut and Run crowd read and recognize this threat? Why do they want to limit the President’s ability to listen to terrorists embedded in our society? They are more interested in a terrorist Bill of Rights.
Our Forward Strategy is essential to victory over Islamic Extremism just as it was in WWII and the Cold War. We cannot lose this war in Iraq but we can if the will of the American people falters. The Cut and Run crowd is doing their best to try getting the America people to lose faith in our Forward Strategy without telling them the consequences. Our men in uniform have performed magnificently and we cannot betray them and those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice as the Cut and Run crowd did in Vietnam. The consequences of a global Islamic Fundamentalist Caliphate are too severe this time.
Thomas G. McInerney is a retired USAF Lt. Gen. and Paul Vallely is a retired USA Maj. Gen. They coauthored Endgame and Warfooting and are Fox News Military Analysts.
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