Re(1): 'The Three Conjectures', BelmontClub, Wretchard TC
Re(2): 'Strategic Overview', USS Clueless, Steven den Beste
Re(3): 'Strategic overview: Annotating and updating Den Beste ', TigerHawk, TigerHawk
Re(4): 'Who's on First', BelmontClub, Wretchard TC
I have asked the question regarding Iraq…
What will winning look like?
So, here is the beginning of an answer:
1. First of all we must accept that Iraq is a focal point in the region. The eyes of modern Islam turn to Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran for guidance. Prior to 2003 there was an axis of Sunni militancy consisting of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria that fermented terror to expand their variant of Islam on the edge of the proverbial sword. Iran competed aggressively to promote their own variant. Please review a map to see the geographical significance of Iraq. Please note the annual pilgrimages to Najaf as a demonstration of the religious significance of Iraq. Please study your texts on Babylon, Asyria, and the Abbasid Caliphate centered in Baghdad as examples of historical significance.
2. Therefore, to compete in this war of ideas we have to either destroy the culture of militant Islam or promote an alternative idea. In this there is no grey area. The opposition fired the starting gun decades ago, gave us a punch we could not ignore, and goaded us into the field in a manner they thought they could control. A sad mistake on their part.
3. Now a guess… Is there anyone out there that doesn’t think the American government didn’t develop a plan to deal with Islamic Terrorism when/if it hit us hard? These plans were probably initiated under Nixon, goobered up under the Carter foolishness, reinitiated in the Reagan era, structured under Bush I, conflated and conflicted during the brilliant Clinton foreign affairs administration, and were in the process of being regenerated under W.
Maybe, just maybe, these administrations wanted to avoid a massively destructive and culturally caustic Total War. They, and all of us, wanted to resolve this conflict in a way that does not kill hundreds of millions (mostly Arab civilians) and destroy our open society. Thus Iraq…
- We needed to break the Crescent of Terror
- We want to give Iraq the chance to Reform Islam
- And provide a Shining City on the Hill for the rest of the Region
We will know when we are winning, or have won, when Iraq starts pulling other regional entities out of the 7th Century and into the 20th Century. When those entities can no longer bitch and whine about Israel and the Great Satan. When those ‘citizens’ form consensual governments and end their subjugation under regional ‘strong men’. When the regions economies are expanding rather than contracting. When those basic constructs are visible we will know we have moved forward in this conflict.
My contention is that this reformation is occurring now. My contention is that W struck as Churchill would have struck – before the cancer spread to the point where the patient had to be killed and the doctor wounded. To the Left, are you proud of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Stalin’s gulags, and the Iron Curtain? Dithering in the 1930s resulted in invasive surgery in the 1940s. Back then it was the Paleolithic Right, now it is the Conflicted Left. Do you want your generation to be remembered as we remember Charles Lindberg, and Henry Ford, and even grand pappa Bush. I hope not...
Note: Iraq is merely a theater in the Global War on Militant Islam. Winning in Iraq or Afghanistan or Indonesia does not imply total and complete victory. Our goal is, and should remain, Total Victory.