The Only Truly Informed #ISIS Strategy Is Team Swandog’s

All day long yesterday, February 26, 2015, FOX News promoted the O’Reilly Factor segment where O’Reilly and Krauthamer were presumably going to offer some enlightened and novel strategy to defeat the Islamic State.  What a let down!  The ideas coming from both of them were very unimaginative and very conventional and very much pipe dreams.  Both men talked about what they would do if they were President, but neither one of them is going to be President any time soon, and IS grows every single day.  O’Reilly should and probably does know full well that his idea of the President getting the Arab heads of state together and leading them to organize and destroy IS is never going to happen.  It ignores Arab political reality and overestimates both Obama’s leadership ability and the Arab nations’ willingness to put everything on the line against fellow Arabs and Muslims when the West is seen as the primary beneficiary.  Krauthammer should realize his plan for a 500-sortie-per-day air campaign is nothing but a pipe dream with this President in office.  Also, as a psychiatrist, he should recognize when a strategy relies on tactics that play into why these dogs radicalize and fight in the first place and understand that such a strategy will indeed kill lots of radicals but will create way more than it kills.  Both O’Reilly and Krauthammer advanced strategies which they may think should be implemented but know full well never will.  Both advanced strategies reliant on conventional military brute force, which will only create more radicals resulting in a net gain for IS.  Just look at the last 13+ years.

There is something which should have become painfully clear over the last 13+ years but which the world seems chillingly determined to ignore.  That thing is what radicalizes these people and why they fight in the first place.  There is in Arab Muslim culture a contrived but very powerful – indeed oft all-consuming –  sense of religious persecution at the hands of the West, stemming from the Crusades.  If we don’t understand this simple fact, we cannot hope to win the war.  We will keep doing what we have done for over 13 years – using brute force to win tactical victories all the wile securing our own strategic defeat and the advance of the radical fundamentalist Islamic ideology.  Now, I am not trying to blame the Crusades and Christians.  Far from it!  The blame lies strictly with the practitioners of radical fundamentalist Islam, be they Sunni or Shiite.  There is a difference between blaming Christians and the Crusades on the one hand and understanding the effect the Crusades had on the psyche of the Muslim world on the other.  People don’t seem to get this.  I bring up the Crusades, and I get accused of attacking and blaming Christianity.  No; I am just aware of the cultural state of mind that the Crusades brought about and acknowledge the fact that it has persisted to today as a victim mentality in a large part of the Muslim world.  Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or maybe more correctly the way we fought them, has fed into that victim mentality – that contrived and histrionic cultural sense of religious persecution by Western powers.  The country that defeated the absolute juggernauts of Hitler’s Germany and Hirohito’s Japan in under four years has not been able to destroy an enemy possessed of far fewer soldiers and resources in over 13!  Has anybody stopped to ask why this is?  In fact, radical fundamentalist Islam has grown by 2,000% during this time.  Has anybody stopped to ask why this is?  Maybe a few have, but they go looking for some convoluted and esoteric explanation, because they simply cannot get their heads around he simple truth: we did it to ourselves.  People are blinded to the fact that, even if you have every right to do something, doing it can still have unintended consequences.  People think because we had the right to act militarily, the increase in radical fundamentalist Islam cannot possibly be a reaction to that.  It must have another, more complicated cause.  This is simply not true, and that mentality assumes that the entire Muslim world is perfectly sane and free of neurosis.  Assuming that because our actions were righteous they cannot possibly be the proximate cause of the increase in radicalization is just stupidity exemplified.  However, the fact that our actions were righteous has become a mental block preventing many, many people from even considering that our righteous actions could be the proximate cause of the increase in radicalization.

Look; when your enemy is driven by a hatred born of a cultural sense of religious persecution at the hands of the West, whether this sense is valid or not, any action that plays into it will just create more radicals.  Our infomercial begins with a quote from Amin Maalouf closing out his book the Crusades Through Arab Eyes.  Maalouf very wisely explained the cultural sensitivity that we so arrogantly ignore.  No strategy which ignores or denies this cultural sensitivity as the most basic driver of radicalization and the jihad can succeed.  So far, no one has offered up a strategy that takes this into account … except for me.  Also, any strategy which hopes to succeed must use the radical fundamentalist Sunni nature of the ideology as the building block upon which all tactics are based.  Everything you do must be designed not only to play into the cultural sensitivity and victim mentality as little as possible but to defeat not just the fighters you engage but the ideology as a whole.  The strategy I have advanced does.  Now, conservatives are all about calling the enemy Islamic, and that is all fine and good, but that’s as far as their clamber goes.  There are simultaneously a near fanatic push to call the enemy Islamic and a complete and utter failure to advance a strategy that is even the least bit informed by the Islamic nature of the enemy.  There is no point in knowing your enemy if you’re not going to put that knowledge to work for you in your strategy.

A strategy informed by the radical fundamentalist Islamic nature of the enemy uses this knowledge to defeat and destroy the enemy while playing into the cultural sensitivities of the Muslim world as little as possible.  Maalouf points out that the Crusases are felt  very deeply in Arab culture as an act of rape.  Even to this day – centuries after the fact – the Crusades are a festering wound.  We reopen this wound and pour salt in it when we use overwhelming force.  Large occupying forces only legitimize this contrived cultural pain.  Kicking in doors turns many innocent lives upside down and legitimizes the grievance in the eyes of a great part of the Muslim world.  Liberating cities by turning them to heaps of rubble is seen as nothing short of a vicious rape of Muslim lands.  These methods may indeed be very successful at killing every radical who now exists, but for every one they kill, 20 more will be created.  Until we learn this basic truth, we cannot win this war.

An informed strategy must therefore avoid the use of overwhelming force.  It must avoid the use of a large occupying ground force.  It must avoid turning lives upside down by kicking in doors.  It must avoid the use of air power in a destructive manner.  It must instead be a strategy of relentless attrition.  It must be a strategy which uses a light paramilitary force highly trained in guerrilla tactics – a mobile force capable of attacking in 30 or 40 locations at once around the theater of operation but never taking and occupying land.  This force must be terrifying to the fighters but not to noncombatants.  The strategy cannot displace noncombatants.  It must use air power only when the enemy has been concentrated by maneuver in deserted areas.  The strategy must have a psychological component which focuses on eroding the morale of the enemy, frustrating recruiting, and undermining the legitimacy of the cause.  Team Swandog’s strategy meets all these requirements.  It is a strategy of relentless attrition.  It’s ground force will not be an intrusive and obtrusive occupying army but a light, mobile guerrilla force employing snipers and small unit tactics to attrit the enemy and erode morale.  It has no use for kicking in doors.  It has no use for employing air power in a destructive manner.  It turns what the enemy perceives as its strengths into weaknesses.  It will very effectively undermine the legitimacy of the Islamic State and the ideology as a whole in the Muslim world.  After all, this cannot be Allah’s cause if he is allowing the Islamic State to be outsmarted, outfought, and outright defeated by a far inferior number of infidels.  This sense will only be greatly legitimized by the fact that Team Swandog is not a force organized and commanded by any foreign government.  It is instead a force of volunteers acting under their own command to defend their way of life against the actions of these corrupted Muslims.  Team Swandog’s strategy is the only one which stands a chance in Hell of succeeding in the long term.

I have not given away the playbook here. I have simply divulged the broad strokes of our strategy, but the broad strokes of every other strategy advanced have also been disclosed.  One cannot expect to show a strategy superior in public discourse without revealing enough information to convince people it is above the rest.  IS knowing our strategy and them being able to prepare for it and defend against it are two wildly different things.  We have an entire repertoire of tactics I have not disclosed, many of which cannot be prepared for or defended against effectively even with full knowledge that they will be employed.  Also, our imaginations are hard at work devising novel tactics every day.  We are smarter and more educated than the enemy, we have vastly superior training, and we have a strategy that will win.  We also have something very magnificent that the enemy will never have.  We have the support of the American people.

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