Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Enemy You Know Is Better Than The Enemy You Refuse To Know

The big question looming since a coalition of UN nations began airstrikes inside Libya last week is, why? While the carefully crafted answer to that question revolves around a concern for the civilian population there, no one has adequately explained why it should be a concern to the United States specifically or the world in general. Why should we care more for the Islamic rebels than their Islamic Leader?

Libyan oil output does not factor in as national security concern nor a factor in our overall economy. Ever since President Reagan authorized an attack against Ghaddafi over 20 years ago, the leadership in that country has posed very little in the way of an existential threat. When you also consider the percentage of the population dedicated to Islam standing at 97%, there is little to hope for in the way of reconciliation with that nation's people. So; why are we concerned that the Muslim tyrant of a particular Muslim country is not kind to the overwhelming Muslim population of his country? And why have we decided to throw in with an Islamic rebel faction intent on overthrowing the government there? Does this sitting government actually believe there is any hope for an actual democratic, constitutional republic or constitutional monarchy to rise from the ashes of this latest struggle and if so; what gives them that hope?

We have been stretched to our military limits fighting in two countries who, arguably, posed a long term threat to our security. The eventual outcome of those two endeavors is still unknown as the wisdom of our political and upper echelon military remains highly questionable. Conditions on the ground in Iraq continue to crumble as the Iraqi Shia sect and their Iranian mentors continue to deliver death to the general population and instability to government agencies. In Afghanistan where the focus is now on training those resistant to sound training in an effort to expedite the beginning of US troop withdrawal, the Taliban is still able to muster enough influence to cause the cell phone service providers in Helmand province to discontinue service. Let's recall that Helmand province has seen more military action than in any other province of Afghanistan and was just recently declared to be stable by General Petraeus.

When you consider the more important issues of schools, roads, infrastructure and simple hygiene, cell phone service isn't nearly as important. On the other hand, security of roads, schools, water purification plants, wells and the like are by nature harder to secure than something as simple as cell towers and yet the Taliban still retain enough influence to cause even these companies to fold for fear of retaliation.

The two questions that emerge from this are, one; when are the Afghan people going to take charge of their own security and two, doesn't this bring into question the credibility of those who instituted the current strategy there? One of the defining elements of a successful COIN expedition is found in the changing attitude of the population and yet the local population still doesn't seem to feel the need to step up and take charge of their own destiny even if it means bearing arms to hold off those whom, our leadership has been telling us are a pariah on the plains.

What should be clear to our current crop of Representatives, the White House and the Pentagon is that you cannot reason with a people who hate you ideologically. This simple fact would be clear to them if any were serious students of history and specifically of the growth and goals of historic Islam. Dumbing down sound tactical doctrine on a hunch is not only illogical; it is in fact, disastrous.

Our goals should be narrowly defined and our offensive actions, aggressive. Whether the United States of America lives or dies matters little to the nations of the world much less the Islamic nations of the world. Our national security needs to be our number one concern, as Americans and the lives of our American Warriors adjacent to that.

Fire-bombing the vipers in one pit while feeding the vipers in another, is an act of fools. They are both venomous. The one detail that continues to elude DC is what all of the parties in these current conflicts have in common; Islam. There will be no reconciliation with the Islamic nations of the world; not with a predominately Christian nation and certainly not with the 'Great Satan', the United States. Thinking these Libyan rebels will somehow magically dump their religious ideology for the freedoms enjoyed by Infidels is foolish thinking. Expending American lives and gold to foster that thinking is immoral.

This morning on the Today show Natalie Morales informed Americans that a 'rogue' unit of American Soldiers were being tried for killing unarmed 'civilians' in Afghanistan. It would have been nice if she had also informed her viewers that 6 other American Soldiers had been shot, two mortally, by a 'trusted' Afghan Security Officer - while they cleaned their weapons.

I remember a world in which Americans, regardless of their chosen professions, were primarily concerned for the lives of Americans and American ideals.

Whatever happened to that nation?

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard