After months of air strikes against the Islamic State that have shown glimmers of tactical success at times but have been a resounding strategic failure, President Obama has seen fit to request authorization from Congress for this war – authorization to do basically more of the same. Here’s why the President’s plan is doomed to be a miserable and spectacular failure from the get go.
First, the President has demonstrated complete and utter inability or unwillingness to name and know the enemy. There is a total lack of understanding, or at least acceptance, of the fact that that we are not fighting a conventional state with a conventional army. We are indeed fighting a state – the Islamic state – but that state, we must understand, is an Islamic theocracy of the radical fundamentalist type. We are indeed fighting an army but not one that is structured or administered even remotely like the armies of the modern world. They are still structured and administered like the Islamic armies of the more distant past whose expansion of Islam into Christian lands triggered the crusades.
We cannot get a grasp on how to defeat such a state as the Islamic State unless we fully understand what makes the state tick – why it exists in the first place as well as how it inspires the patronage and loyalty of its subjects. Our government and Military have demonstrated a glaring and seemingly willful ignorance of the ideology and psychology of radical fundamentalist Islam for as long as we have been having problems with it, and that has to change. We have to understand that the Islamic State is indeed Islamic. It’s ideology and theology are not some radical departure from Islam but instead are grounded firmly in the Qu’ran and the Hadith – albeit their focus is the more expansionist and barbaric parts. They are simply radical fundamentalist Sunni Muslims. Once we realize this, we can come to understand that the Muslim world is never going to unite as forcefully as needed to eradicate the ideology. Despite the Sunni-Shiite-Wahhabi splits within Islam and the violence they have perpetrated on each other of their own instigation, they is still a reticence to war against this Islamic ideology – especially when it is perceived, rightly or wrongly, that it is at the urging of the United States and that the United States is the primary beneficiary of the eradication of the ideology. Reason and logic will never prevail , because we are dealing with religion. We are not going to be able to talk the Muslim world into doing what needs to be done. Because we are still who we are and they are still who they are, they will limit themselves to half measures. This is especially true when we ourselves do not show the will to win.
We also have to understand that the existence of the Islamic State and the radical fundamentalist Islamic ideology is a result wholly and solely of a contrived if not histrionic cultural sense of religious persecution. We only feed into that culture and create more extremists than we kill when massive occupying ground forces kicking in doors and the leveling of cities by our air power are inextricable from our definition of victory. This mentality of ours is a result of a focus on tactical thinking to the near abandonment of strategic vision. We have had countless tactical victories in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, those campaigns have been tactical successes. Unfortunately, much like Vietnam, those campaigns have been conspicuous strategic failures. Now, they would have been strategic victories if the only consideration would have been the defeat of political states. We simply failed to recognize that, when you are fighting an enemy driven primarily if not solely by religious ideology, you must adapt your strategy. A strategy of large conventional ground forces and air campaigns that turn cities into rubble is a very effective one for defeating a non-theocratic political state; however, it sucks when applied to an enemy motivated by extreme religious ideology. Those are the very things that result in the creation of even more extremists. The Islamic State exists because of this contrived cultural sense of religious persecution, and when infidel armies occupy countries, drive people out of their homes, and leave entire cities in ruin just to kill a relative few of the enemy, it feeds into that sense of religious persecution and bolsters the enemy’s recruiting like you would not believe. That is why there are at least five if not ten times as many jihadists now as there were on 9-11-01. Continuing the bombing is only going to be counterproductive. Air power has a valid although far from essential role in a successful strategy to defeat the Islamic State and radical fundamentalist Islam, but leveling cities is not it.
The army of the Islamic State is not like a modern era army and does not run like one. If we want to defeat the Islamic State, we have to look to history and understand that the enemy army is structured and run like the armies fielded by Islam in the times of the crusades. The President has this notion of strictly limiting the use of ground forces to rescue downed coalition pilots and to use special operations forces to take out Islamic State Leadership. Anyone who understands the ideology and psychology of the Islamic State knows instantly that this is, quite frankly, idiotic. It’s not like if we had been able to take out Hitler or Hirohito at the beginning of WWII, because we are not dealing with a primarily political entity but a wholly religious one. If we take out their leaders now, we will only make them martyrs. Passions will be further inflamed, new and even more extreme and barbaric leaders will take their place, and they will be even more determined. Recruiting will increase exponentially. Decapitation strikes work against conventional political states and armies only – not against extreme fundamentalist totalitarian theocracies. Forget it. Also, I know I am going to catch a lot of flack for saying this, but our military’s special operations forces have become stale, predictable, and unimaginative. Their thinking and tactics are too conventional. Many members of Team Swandog come from the military SpecOps community and agree with me on this. The only teams I can think of that would be suited to the task are the paramilitary operations teams that don’t officially exist and live layers deep within the National Clandestine Service. There unfortunately are not enough of those guys to do the job, even if it was the right job in the first place, which it isn’t. You don’t take out the leadership until you have eroded morale and undermined the legitimacy of the ideology. The way you do that is through daily attrition, through employing a rotating repertoire of tactics which exploit their key vulnerabilities and for which they have no response or adaptation. Nothing works better to erode morale and undermine legitimacy than continually suffering losses on the ground to an infidel force that is greatly inferior in number.
Now, the President has made the incredible claim that the morale of Islamic State fighters is low and that defection is rampant. My sources on the ground in the theater tell me that is hogwash. Either the President has told an out-and out lie for political/ideological purposes or he is believing an intelligence community which is reliant solely on SIGINT and is being spoofed. Their morale has never been higher. They drew our attention to Kobani while they kept gaining in the South. Kobani was not only a faint, but they exploited our strategy of leveling cities as a recruitment bonanza for them. They have more territory and more fighters than before Kobani. This is what our $8M dollars a day has gotten us. We fell for their faint and played right into their hands. Their morale is NOT suffering, and there are no defectors. I have no reason to believe the other statements by our government that there are divisions and infighting among the Islamic State. This dovetails into the next reason the President’s plan is doomed to fail: total reliance on SIGINT. I was witness to the radical shift toward SIGINT and away from HUMINT that came with the advent of high technology, and I know that we just don’t do HUMINT anymore. We think technology is the answer, but there are many flaws in that way of thinking, and the vulnerability to spoofing is just one of them. Without HUMINT, we cannot expect to win.
The final reason the President’s plan is doomed to failure is the timetable he is placing on it. He talks about strategic patience, which is code for sitting around with our thumbs up our butts waiting for them to come cut our heads off or burn us alive. Well, I’m here to tell you that nobody has more strategic patience than radical fundamentalist Islam. Nobody. When we put a timetable on something, we are simply telegraphing to the enemy how much strategic patients they must have. Three years is a blink of an eye to these people. The three year timetable for operations is the most ridiculously and profoundly stupid idea I have ever seen or heard of. He either has absolutely zero understanding of the enemy or he is deliberately playing into their hands. You be the judge. Either way, we are in peril – imminent peril – and we the people must act.
Now, don’t go getting all crazy and start saying I’m advocating harming the President in any way or overthrowing the government or even impeaching the President. That’s all craziness. We are at war, and the last thing we need is to have turmoil at home. I am contacted every day by nutjobs who think Team Swandog is about removing Obama from power. Nothing could be further from the truth. Team Swandog is about we the people destroying the Islamic State and eradicating the ideology of radical fundamentalist Islam in spite of Obama. We want to show that the people can triumph despite a President who, whether wittingly or unwittingly, steers us on a course to destruction. Though we have not seen any sign of the President’s much-ballyhooed intellect, we are not Obaba haters. You haters can keep your trash to yourselves. It is false patriotism, and we’ll have no part of it.
What I am talking about is exactly what Team Swandog is in the process of doing. Due to the acknowledged state of war between the U.S. and the Islamic Sate, Americans may legally, under the laws of war, band together into a militia and fight the enemy. This is not only legal, but due to the fatal strategy of the government and military, is absolutely necessary for our continued survival. Team Swandog has the strategy and is currently very busy recruiting soldiers and raising the money to destroy the Islamic State and eradicate this ideology that is the enemy of our way of life and is bent on our subjugation if not eradication. We will soon be fighting them on their ground but on our terms.
We will win this war because we have a strategy which has none of the fatal flaws of the President’s plan and exploits the weaknesses of the enemy. We recognize that this is indeed a religious war. Our saying that it is not does not make it so. We are not the ones who asked for it to be a religious war. The Islamic State made it so when they set out to eradicate Jews and declared Christianity their number one enemy. No amount of wishing can undo that. It is a fundamental tenet of warfare that the offending party defines the nature of the war. It is arrogance in the extreme to say that this is not a religious war just because we do not want it to be. Acknowledging that this is a religious war allows us to galvanize the churches against the Islamic State. It is already happening. Nearly 50 churches across the country are already raising money through regular special collections and conducting supply drives to collect gear and food for Team Swandog. We expect every church, parish, and synagogue in America to recognize the nature of this war as well as the folly of the administration’s policies and strategy and help us defend their right to exist against this mortal enemy in this life-or-death struggle.
We will win this war because we can do it for less than 10% of what the government and military could. Patriotic American business have already come on board, but we need many, many more. We have just begun our fundraising efforts in earnest, and if you are a business owner or CEO, we expect you to come to your country’s defense when all the government can do is lead us to destruction. With $10B in funding, we could destroy the Islamic State in two years or less of operations. With $20B in funding, we could do it in nine months, guaranteed. You see, we know what makes these guys tick, and we know how to stop playing to their strengths and to turn those strengths into weaknesses we can exploit the hell out of. We know we do not need massive air power or a large, occupying ground force. We know those things are in fact counterproductive, not to mention costly. Guerrilla tactics are, by contrast, very cheap. We don’t need tanks, fighters, bombers, and the like to destroy the Islamic State. We do it by employing a light, agile, adaptable force with elite training in unconventional warfare. We use our imagination and ingenuity. Everything about our force that screams weakness to the untrained eye is in fact a strength. We use psychological warfare. We know that, by nature, these guys are acting out of emotion, and that is never going to change. It’s their nature. It is one big war of emotion, and we can use that against them.
We will win this war because we do not answer to the President. The last time I checked, the President answers to the people. The people don’t answer to the president, and nobody and no law can take away the right of the people to defend themselves against any enemy, foreign or domestic.
We will win because we have the right strategy. Our strategy is not something cobbled together in in a few hours in some bar. It has been developed over years with months of intensive development and perpetual refinement, adaptation, and diversification. It is based in history as much as in imagination and creativity. It is based in fact and not in hope or political correctness. A strategy informed by truth and intelligence rather than politics and false hope cannot fail. There is but one way this strategy can fail. It can and will fail if American business, churches, and individuals have an abject failure of patriotism and total meltdown of sense of self-preservation. We don’t need them all … not even close. In fact, a grass roots effort in the churches and among small businesses, coupled with a handful of the biggest businesses in the country could save the county and the world from this rapidly-growing ideology bent on domination and subjugation of the world to their twisted religion. It takes pure patriotism, clear vision, and the will to survive at all costs. If, on the other hand, they have fallen under the spell of a charismatic but misguided President and buy into the B.S. that flows like a river out of Washington, D.C., then God help us all!