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Author Topic: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism  (Read 23173 times)
Power User
Posts: 284

« Reply #150 on: December 03, 2015, 01:24:03 PM »

I'm thinking that the term "possible terrorist attack" should be replaced with "jihadi raid".

Do you remember the day you made me a dog Guru? The conversation that we had?

One does not "accumulate" things in their household on accident. This was nothing less than a raid. It is the epitomy of religious extremism.

It's all a matter of perspective.
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Posts: 35839

« Reply #151 on: December 03, 2015, 02:50:48 PM »

Power User
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« Reply #152 on: December 12, 2015, 10:30:20 AM »
Power User
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« Reply #153 on: December 14, 2015, 03:16:43 PM »

OPINION: Why We’re Losing the War on Terror and How We Can Win
Is the United States Losing the War on Terror?

I think so. For some background, below is a brief synopsis of two strategies developed by the United States to combat/counter terrorism.

The Strategy and End State; 2003-2010
The United States 4D Strategy to Combat Terrorism from 2003-2010.

The United States and its partners will defeat terrorist organizations of global reach by attacking their sanctuaries; leadership; command, control, and communications; material support; and finances.
Deny further sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists by ensuring other states accept their responsibilities to take action against these international threats within their sovereign territory.
Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorist seek to exploit by enlisting the international community to focus its efforts and resources on the areas most at risk.
Defend the United States, our citizens, and our interests at home and abroad by both proactively protecting our homeland and extending our defenses to ensure we identify and neutralize the threat as early as possible.
The End State:
Victory against terrorism will not occur as a single, defining moment. It will not be marked by the likes of the surrender ceremony on the deck of the USS Missouri that ended World War II. However, through the sustained effort to compress the scope and capability of terrorist organizations, isolate them regionally, and destroy them within state borders, the United States and its friends and allies will secure a world in which our children can live free from fear and where the threat of terrorist attacks does not define our daily lives.
Victory, therefore, will be secured only as long as the United States and the international community maintain their vigilance and work tirelessly to prevent terrorists from inflicting horrors like those of September 11, 2001.
The US Strategy; 2011-Present

In 2011 the Obama administration modified the Bush administration’s Strategy by developing The National Strategy for Counterterrorism.

Our Overarching Goals
The United States aims to achieve eight overarching CT goals. Taken together, these desired end states articulate a framework for the success of the United States global counterterrorism mission.
– Protect the American People, Homeland, and American Interests. The most solemn responsibility of the President and the United States Government is to protect the American people, both at home and abroad. This includes eliminating threats to their physical safety, countering threats to global peace and security, and promoting and protecting U.S. interests around the globe.
– Disrupt, Degrade, Dismantle, and Defeat al-Qa‘ida and Its Affiliates and Adherents. The American people and interests will not be secure from attacks until this threat is eliminated—its primary individuals and groups rendered powerless, and its message relegated to irrelevance.
– Prevent Terrorist Development, Acquisition, and Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The danger of nuclear terrorism is the greatest threat to global security. Terrorist organizations, including al-Qa‘ida, have engaged in efforts to develop and acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—and if successful, they are likely to use them.
– Eliminate Safehavens. Al-Qa‘ida and its affiliates and adherents rely on the physical sanctuary of ungoverned or poorly governed territories, where the absence of state control permits terrorists to travel, train, and engage in plotting. In close coordination with foreign partners, the United States will continue to contest and diminish al-Qa‘ida’s operating space through mutually reinforcing efforts designed to prevent al-Qa‘ida from taking advantage of these ungoverned spaces.
– Build Enduring Counterterrorism Partnerships and Capabilities. Foreign partners are essential to the success of our CT efforts; these states are often themselves the target of—and on the front lines in countering—terrorist threats. The United States will continue to rely on and leverage the capabilities of its foreign partners even as it looks to contribute to their capacity and bolster their will. To achieve our objectives, partners must demonstrate the willingness and ability to operate independently, augmenting and complementing U.S. CT efforts with their unique insights and capabilities in their countries and regions.
– Degrade Links between al-Qa‘ida and its Affiliates and Adherents. Al-Qa‘ida senior leaders in Pakistan continue to leverage local and regional affiliates and adherents worldwide through formal and informal alliances to advance their global agenda. Al-Qa‘ida exploits local grievances to bolster recruitment, expand its operational reach, destabilize local governments, and reinforce safehavens from which it and potentially other terrorist groups can operate and attack the United States.
– Counter al-Qa‘ida Ideology and Its Resonance and Diminish the Specific Drivers of Violence that al-Qa‘ida Exploits. This Strategy prioritizes U.S. and partner efforts to undercut al-Qa‘ida’s fabricated legitimization of violence and its efforts to spread its ideology. As we have seen in the Middle East and North Africa, al-Qa‘ida’s calls for perpetual violence to address longstanding grievances have met a devastating rebuke in the face of nonviolent mass movements that seek solutions through expanded individual rights. Along with the majority of people across all religious and cultural traditions, we aim for a world in which al-Qa‘ida is openly and widely rejected by all audiences as irrelevant to their aspirations and concerns, a world where al-Qa‘ida’s ideology does not shape perceptions of world and local events, inspire violence, or serve as a recruiting tool for the group or its adherents.
– Deprive Terrorists of their Enabling Means. Al-Qa‘ida and its affiliates and adherents continue to derive significant financial support from donors in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere through kidnapping for ransom and from exploitation of or control over lucrative elements of the local economy.
Many things are very wrong with our counter-terrorism strategy and have been wrong for a long time.  Neither the Bush nor Obama Administrations have had a successful strategy.  The Obama Administration’s strategy, although lengthy, sounds like a global community organizer’s touchy-feely plan to build a better community rather than a strategy to combat an enemy and keep American citizens safe.  One other huge problem with Obama’s plan is this statement in his strategy document (2011):

“The United States deliberately uses the word “war” to describe our relentless campaign against al-Qa‘ida. However, this Administration has made it clear that we are not at war with the tactic of terrorism or the religion of Islam. We are at war with a specific organization—al-Qa‘ida.”
When you read the Obama strategy, you’ll notice that he and his administration are really only interested in making al-Qa‘ida “irrelevant” and not defeating the true enemy.  The Obama administration sees the “terrorists” as criminals and not combatants.

Neither the Bush or the Obama administration has made good on its strategy to secure the homeland or take the fight abroad.  Our political and military decision makers have failed the American people.  The reality is that we’re not safer today than we were just after 911.  Why is that?

1. We do not have a strategy that clearly defines who our nation’s enemies are and what our end state is.
2. We fail to truly understand the ideology and culture of who we are fighting.
3. We have a terrible information campaign at home and abroad.
4. We have never mobilized our nation (its people or industrial complex) to deal with the threat.
5. We have not sealed our borders or made it harder for potential enemies to enter.
6. We haven’t figured out yet that we have no Muslim Allies.  Some of our so called “allies” are actually subverting us and we are continuing to allow them to do so.

The reality is that we are not fighting a war on terror, but a Global Islamic Insurgency.  This insurgency crosses borders because of a common Islamic ideology and theology that is outlined in the Quran and Hadith. Depending on the area of the world, this insurgency can be in any of the three phases outlined in the U.S. Army Counterguerrilla Handbook:

PHASE I: Latent and Incipient Insurgency. Activity in this phase ranges from subversive activity, which is only a potential threat, to situations where frequent subversive incidents and activities occur in a pattern. It involves no major outbreak of violence or uncontrolled insurgent activity. The insurgent force does not conduct continuous operations but rather selected acts of terrorism. An insurgency could achieve victory during this phase.
PHASE II: Guerrilla Warfare. This phase is reached when the insurgent movement, having gained enough local external support, initiates organized continuous guerrilla warfare or related forms of violence against a government. This is an attempt to force government forces into a defensive role. As the insurgent becomes stronger, he begins to conduct larger operations.
PHASE III: War of Movement. When the insurgent attains the force structure and ability to directly engage government forces in decisive combat, he begins to use more conventional tactics.
The fact that everyone will not admit that this is a Global Islamic Insurgency that crosses all borders is problematic. It’s problematic because Western nations really don’t know how to deal with it because they want to be politically correct.  The reality is we have no time to be politically correct and we need to make the Islamic world accountable for their own actions or lack of actions.

The United States has screwed around long enough during the last 14 years.  The world is more dangerous now because our decision makers continue to make poor decisions.  Can this be turned around?  Sure, but it will take a major shift in policy and the U.S. population needs to understand that this is about survival.  Their very way of life, socially and economically, is being threatened in more ways than one because they choose to be uninformed.  Our strategy for far too long has been focused on a defensive strategy rather than an offensive strategy.  When we have a president and administration who believes that climate change is the cause of terrorism, we have some real problems.  Our people can no longer be naive about the world or be complacent about their own security here at home.

If we are tired of war or unprepared as a nation to take this war to our enemies then we need to retreat home to the security of our self-declared “Safe Space”, continue our poor existence with blinders on and take what’s coming to us.  If we feel that this war is necessary for us to fight, then we need to get off our high horse and be prepared to get bloody because that is what it’s going to take to change their ideology.  Forget about nation building; that’s gotten us nowhere and has never worked until we brought a society to its knees and they capitulated.  We will not get the Islamic world to change their thought process by passing out money or building McDonald’s and KFC chains in their communities.  However, bringing death and destruction quickly and violently to bring their culture to its knees has worked all throughout history.  Some poor Islamic nation is going to have to be the example of that kind of horror that sends a message throughout the Islamic world that enough is enough.  They need to fully understand that with every transgression there will be horrific consequences.  When the rest of the Islamic world asks “Why?”, we need to be prepared to explain to them that “this was Allah’s will” and that they and their people had committed great sins for if not then why did their people reap such a punishment.


John Hurth is a former Special Forces soldier who served multiple overseas tours in support of the Global War on Terror.  He’s now the chief instructor at Tyr Group, which provides training to members of the military as well as civilians, and the author of the Combat Tracking Guide.
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Posts: 35839

« Reply #154 on: December 15, 2015, 08:32:12 AM »

 Why the U.S. Cannot Leave the Middle East
December 15, 2015 | 10:09 GMT Print
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U.S. Army personnel mentor Iraqi troops undergoing training at a military base in Taji, Iraq, April 15. (JOHN MOORE/Getty Images)

    Political and social turbulence in the Middle East will continue to foster the rise of terrorist groups, some of which will have the motivation and capability to attack U.S. interests.
    As the United States looks to address these threats, it will attempt to find a strategy that is both effective and capable of being sustained for long periods.
    To this end, the United States will continue to provide training, intelligence and logistics support to local actors fighting against terrorist groups.
    To supplement these efforts, however, the United States will have to steadily increase direct ground combat personnel — relying heavily on special operations forces.


The Middle East's traditional power structures are crumbling. This has paved the way for new groups and threats to rise from the ruins. The United States, as a result, will be forced to reconsider its strategy in the region. Just as al Qaeda's setbacks enabled the Islamic State to flourish, so, too, will other terrorist groups move to fill the void created by the Islamic State's eventual decline. Terrorism will pose a threat to U.S. national security for the foreseeable future, and policymakers in Washington have no choice but to pursue more sustainable ways to counter it. The United States will ultimately shift its tactics in the region, striking a careful balance between empowering local security forces and selectively deploying specially trained and equipped forces in its attempt to tip the balance in the War on Terror.
Rebuilding a Region

The Middle East has been shaped by the wars, colonialism and post-Cold War fragmentation of the last century into a collection of states governed by militaries and monarchies. Yet, over the past decade a wave of foreign interventions and domestic social uprisings has torn many of these political structures away. At the same time, powerful third parties such as the United States have withdrawn from their alliances in the region, undermining the balance of power that their presence often ensured between the Middle East's major state and non-state actors.

Amid these dramatic upheavals, regional concentrations of power are emerging in Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council. But the swathes of land between them remain mired in chaos as the societies left behind grapple with the ethnic and sectarian divisions that underlie the region. Nowhere is this more evident than in Iraq and Syria.

As the Middle East continues to break itself apart — reassembling the pieces may take decades — militant groups will take advantage of the resulting power vacuum to grow and proliferate. And as they increasingly engage with the stronger, more coherent military forces stationed throughout the region, they will use asymmetric tactics like terrorism to level the playing field and extend their reach.
The Global War on Terrorism

The United States did not begin to truly understand the threat that terrorism posed to its homeland until Sept. 11, 2001. In the wake of the attacks, U.S. leaders realized that with the right intent and capability, terrorist groups could successfully target and kill large numbers of American citizens on U.S. soil. To prevent an attack on the scale of 9/11 from happening again, former U.S. President George W. Bush launched a widespread offensive against terrorist groups around the world that he dubbed the Global War on Terrorism.

This name is something of a misnomer. The United States does not, and cannot, attack every terrorist group in the world. It simply does not have the will or the resources to do so. Furthermore, terrorism is a tactic, which by its nature cannot be eradicated. Instead, Washington chose to target transnational groups (and their support networks) that have demonstrated the intent and capability to attack the interests of the United States or its allies through asymmetric means.

This strategy is not tied to any single group, although one organization may pose a greater and more urgent threat than others at certain times. For example, at its inception the strategy largely centered on finding and dismantling the al Qaeda core, held responsible for coordinating the 9/11 attacks. Now that this goal has been largely achieved, the United State's focus has shifted to the Islamic State, where it will likely remain for the next few years as the U.S.-led coalition works to degrade the jihadist group's capabilities.

But even if the United States can marginalize the Islamic State, the underlying elements that enabled the group's rise will not disappear as quickly. As conflicts throughout the Middle East continue to play out, other groups will surface with similar capabilities and intentions. These groups will not necessarily all be Sunni or even religious in nature, like al Qaeda and the Islamic State are. For example, the Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front has already attacked U.S. targets in Turkey, as have Shiite militias in Iraq.

In the face of such threats to come, it is hard to ignore the suggestion that Washington simply abandon the region. But the Middle East is a strategic supplier of oil to the global market, and the critical link connecting Africa, Asia and Europe. Leaving it to its fate is not an option. Then again, neither is more of the same.
Invasion vs. Desertion

It is increasingly clear that the United States' approach to eradicating al Qaeda — launching full-fledged invasions, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq — is not sustainable in the long run. The goal of each ground incursion was to strike the jihadist group within its own safe-havens. While both invasions were successful in some ways, they also failed to decisively eliminate the threat. In Afghanistan, al Qaeda fighters were able to escape across unguarded borders and fade into the difficult surrounding terrain to avoid capture. From there, they adopted a blend of guerrilla tactics and terrorism to wage a protracted war against foreign troops.

In Iraq, remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime were able to quickly reorganize into a capable insurgency, while local Shiite militias took advantage of Hussein's destruction to launch attacks of their own. In both cases, U.S. leaders quickly, if begrudgingly, realized that a prolonged force presence would be needed to suppress new threats. While this provided some level of stability to each country, it solved neither Baghdad nor Kabul's problems entirely. Large numbers of "occupying" troops became the catalyst for increased recruitment into these militant groups, further exacerbating the problem.

Unable to fully destroy its enemies and caught in the middle of a bloody sectarian war, the United States began to look for an exit strategy. Neither it nor its allies could afford to continue deploying huge portions of their militaries to wage wars with no end. By overcommitting in the Middle East, the United States had essentially hamstrung its military capabilities elsewhere in the world.

At the same time, political pressure was building to draw operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to a close. In the midst of a sharp recession, U.S. policymakers were being forced to choose between making deep budget cuts and taking on greater debt to fund conflicts overseas. Meanwhile, the body count steadily rose, and the American public became less and less willing to sacrifice its soldiers to an intangible cause.

And so, U.S. counterterrorism strategy changed. The new goal was to withdraw all forces belonging to the United States and its allies and replace them with assistance from afar. Financial aid, intelligence sharing and logistical support became the West's primary tools of influence. Yet this approach is also failing. Security in Afghanistan degraded alongside the United States' eventual drawdown to a small but sustainable footprint. And in Iraq, once all foreign personnel had departed, the absence of capable Western forces and the outbreak of civil war in neighboring Syria enabled al Qaeda in Iraq to transform: First into the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and then into the Islamic State.
Finding the Perfect Balance

In light of these developments, the United States has had to adjust its approach once again. Washington and its allies have already halted further troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, expanding their mission timelines and in some cases reversing the decision to further reduce the military footprint on the ground. Meanwhile, the United States has redeployed forces to the Iraq theater — and beyond — in an effort to stabilize the region following the Islamic State's rapid spread. More recently, Washington pushed a small contingent of U.S. special operations forces into Syria after efforts to train a local proxy force repeatedly failed.

Still, Washington continues to search for the perfect balance between wide-scale invasion and complete disengagement. So far, the attempt to partially re-engage in Iraq and Syria with tangential combat support has either achieved limited success or failed outright. Western-backed forces have regained some territory in Iraq over the past year, but what gains have been made are gradual and costly. On a positive note, though, the strategy of limited engagement is far more sustainable than either of its predecessors.

As the United States settles in for a lengthy battle against the terrorists that wish to attack it, it will continue looking for ways to effectively combat its enemies without outstripping or overcommitting its resources. What we are seeing is a slow tipping of the scales as small portions of direct combat power are added to supplement the combat support of local forces already in place. It is military satisficing.

Ultimately, this hybridized force structure will allow for a combination indirect and direct support across a large portion of the region. On the one hand, Washington will support its local allies with training, intelligence, logistics support and airpower; on the other, it will use small portions of units and special operations forces to shift the tempo of battle in its allies' favor. This will require SOF to work in concert with other small ground units that can conduct raids, manage the fight, and coordinate a variety of fires including precision guided munitions, artillery, and close-air support. This strategy will inevitably lead to a yearslong commitment — just to address the Islamic State.

While this approach will eventually degrade the Islamic State, the Middle East as a whole will continue to be riven in different directions as new power structures and alliances emerge and gel. This will only incubate more militant groups with a continued goal to challenge the United States and its interest in the region. This in turn will force Washington to stay engaged in the Middle East as military planners shift to the next threat, be it similar to before or entirely different. To bring about an acceptable level of stability — or instability, from the U.S. point of view — will require the commitment of tens of thousands of personnel on the ground and in the skies above the region, for many years to come.
Power User
Posts: 35839

« Reply #155 on: January 06, 2016, 10:40:03 AM »

I have long argued that our policy in Afpakia is incoherent, but IMHO this piece ignores that we had success in Iraq in hand and threw it all away.  Nonetheless I post it as representing a point of view that, in the aftermath of having thrown Iraq away, is worth considering.

Where Does the Next President Even Begin to Fix the Effort Against Radical Islam?

Leon Wolf, over at Red State, with an argument I did not want to agree with . . . but found myself nodding anyway:

In spite of all the time, money, training, and equipment we have given the Afghan security forces in the last 14 years, they still find themselves outgunned, outmanned, and outwilled. The current fight within the Obama administration is whether Obama will slow play the withdrawal of the remaining 10,000 or so United States troops who are still in Afghanistan. The current plan is for roughly half the U.S. force to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2016, although some in the administration are pushing for a slower withdrawal.

It is pretty obvious at this point that unless we are willing to re-enter Afghanistan with a full-scale invasion force (spoiler: we aren’t), then the exact speed at which the remaining 10,000 U.S. troops withdraw isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the end. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the life of another single United States soldier, or another single United States taxpayer dollar, for us to continue to be involved in the dispute over which brand of Islamic hellhole Afghanistan will end up being. Given the national course that we have clearly chosen, it’s time for us to get the last of our forces out sooner, rather than later.

That is not to say that our involvement in Afghanistan (or, for that matter, Iraq) has been for nothing. On the contrary, they have taught us valuable lessons about the fight against radical Islam going forward -- and while the price for those lessons has been higher than it should have been, it is probably true that our innate stubbornness as a country would not have allowed us to learn these lessons for less.

Namely, I hope that we have learned that we have abused the entire purpose of the United States military over the course of the last 14 years by asking them to essentially act as armed civil engineers for the Great Society, Middle East division. The military is highly trained and more efficient than ever at killing people and breaking things. It is absurd, however, that we asked them to basically turn Iraq and Afghanistan into from third world cesspools into first world countries while also fighting an insurgency.

The way we have conducted the aftermath of these wars has been so backwards from a historical perspective that it is difficult to know even where to begin. I am at a loss for any other example in history where the winner of a military campaign almost bankrupted their own country trying to improve conditions in the vanquished territory. When all of Europe banded together to rout Napoleon’s army in retribution for the damage he had wreaked across the continent, they did not leave their artillery gunners behind to rebuild French farms. Instead, they stayed long enough for their guns to enforce a surrender, the exile of Napoleon himself, and an agreement for France to pay reparations to them. A contingent of troops stayed behind for the express purpose of making sure the agreed-upon reparations were paid and that Napoleon was not allowed to return to power. Having done this, they departed for home, with the understanding that violating the terms of the peace treaty would bring those same armies back to France to destroy it again.

This is how warfare is supposed to work, and we forgot it at our own peril. This is how it worked when Bismarck laid seige to Paris in 1870 and nearly wiped out the city. That’s how it worked at Versailles. Military occupations -- when used effectively -- serve the purpose of enforcing the earned terms of victory and should end when those have been achieved. They should not, for instance, be used to construct $43 million gas stations for the alleged benefit of the conquered territory.

America is no longer in the nation-building business, if it ever was. Wars in the coming years -- and there will be war; the only question is how thoroughly we fight them in response to attacks on us -- are going to be more brutal. As Wolf notes, the notion of rebuilding a defeated foe came out of World War II, after the world concluded that the treaties ending World War I set up the tensions for the next war.

When Dick Cheney argued against Trump’s ban-all-Muslims proposals, no one plausibly argued that Cheney is a naïve kumbaya softie who doesn’t take terrorism or Islamist ideology seriously. Recall the saying “Only Nixon could go to China” – only someone with indisputable credentials supporting a particular interest can persuade that interest to make a compromise.

When Barack “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” Obama or Hillary “terrorism has nothing to do with Islam” Clinton criticize the Trump proposals, no one is persuaded. Most people conclude, with justification, that Obama and Clinton are feckless and unwilling to try any idea that might be deemed controversial, insensitive, or excessive.

America needs leaders who are indisputably tough, clear-eyed and blunt about the threats that we face. That way, when a really bad idea that sounds tough comes along, they can reject that idea with authority.
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Posts: 35839

« Reply #156 on: January 19, 2016, 04:03:56 PM »
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« Reply #157 on: January 24, 2016, 04:40:45 PM »
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