Sober Follow-Up: Winning the War on Terror
Thanks to all who commented on my last post. Good points being brought up.
Our friendly dissenter, Stay Puff Marshmellow Man, asked me how I would use the strategy of attrition in the current situation with the War on Terror.
I replied: "I wouldn't use attrition, I would use annihilation." I then promised to continue that conversation.
You see, the enemy we fight is fanatical and at the current pace they can replace their terrorists and supplies as fast as we can kill them. We are spending too much effort trying to win over public support and too little effort trying to kill bad people.
The ironic thing is, the longer we stay, the more support we lose. A long, foreign occupation would go unsupported in any country.
Some will say the "hearts and minds" game is the only way, but it's not. We've fought an enemy worse than this in the past, and left 100% successful.
I'm speaking of the Japanese, and I can't help but compare the war on terror to fighting them in WWII.
The Japanese in WWII may have been the fiercest enemy America has ever faced. The well funded, well organized, and well equipped Japanese military forces were much worse, in my opinion, than anything we ever faced before or have faced since. But it weren't those factors that made them so difficult...it was their fanaticism.
What would make a man fly a Kamikaze plane loaded with explosives, to his death, into an enemy ship? How about those Kaiten torpedoes? Why was it Japanese ground troops would fight to their death, with only a handful out of thousands willing to surrender when an entire island had already been taken?
The Japanese religion is Shintoism, which is also a religion that is unique to Japan. Those who practice the faith believe in the divinity of the Japanese emperor. See, in that religion, the emperor isn't god-appointed or god-inspired or a "chosen one", the emperor IS god. The suicide bombers of the Japanese military did it for their god. (The word "kamikaze" itself translates to "god wind" or "divine wind".)
You may see where I am going with this, but Muslim terrorists share religious motivation as a common denominator with the Japanese, if nothing else. I see Japan during that time as a much more formidable enemy because of their military capability. The terrorists we fight today have nowhere near the capability the Japanese did 2/3 of a century ago. We defeated Japan, but I'm afraid the historical lessons we learned from it may have been lost.
Before we nuked the Japanese, our strategy had shifted from attrition to annihilation. We sent a clear message: "Cease and desist or we will kill every last one of you if we have to!" They heard us, and quit.
Now, I am in no way advocating nuking the Middle East, because I don't think it is necessary. I believe nuclear weapons should only be used as a last resort. It was necessary in Japan. It isn't needed in the Middle East, YET.
But we are not sending the extremists we fight the same message we sent the Japanese. They think we can win because we feed and clothe their families almost as soon as we have busted in their doors. As long as they believe this, they will have no problem recruiting new terrorists and keeping the support of the communities that shelter them.
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