Re(2): ‘Three Conjectures’, BelmontClub, Wretchard TC
Re(3): ‘Carnage and Culture’, http://www.amazon.com/, Book Reviews
Re(4): ‘The Pentagon’s New Map’, Thomas Barnett
Re(5): ‘The Blitz Comes to London’, BelmontClub, Wretchard TC
Re(6): 'Tribes', EjectEjectEject, William Whittle
Re(7): 'National Strategy for Victory in Iraq', http://www.whitehouse.gov
Re(8): 'Strategic overview', http://denbeste.nu, Den Beste
Re(9): 'The Rise, Peak, Decline and Defeat of Iraq's Insurgency', SecurityWatchTower, Mixed Humor
Re(10): 'Winning the War on Terror', BoghieOnYourSix, Me
In ‘Three Conjectures’ Wretchard postulates that a repeatable WMD strike by Islamic Terror would result in the complete destruction of Islam…
Conjecture 1: Terrorism has lowered the nuclear threshold.
the nuclear threshold against a terrorism may be crossed once they get the capability to attack with weapons of mass destruction. Unlike the old early warning systems, designed to gauge Soviet intent, the intelligence systems of the War on Terror are meant to measure capability. The relevant Cold War question was 'do they intend to use the Bomb?'. In the War on Terror, the relevant question is simply 'do they have the Bomb?' This puts the nuclear threshold very low.Conjecture 2: Attaining WMDs will destroy Islam
The so-called strengths of Islamic terrorism: fanatical intent; lack of a centralized leadership; absence of a final authority and cellular structure guarantee uncontrollable escalation once the nuclear threshold is crossed. Therefore the 'rational' American response to the initiation of terrorist WMD attack would be all out retaliation from the outset.
It is supremely ironic that the survival of the Islamic world should hinge on an American victory in the War on Terror, the last chance to prevent that terrible day in which all the decisions will have already been made for us.
An element Wretchard does not point out in this prescient discussion revolves around ‘the Western Way of War’. In ‘Carnage and Culture’ (published August 14, 2001) , Victor Davis Hanson convincingly postulates a number of conjectures as well:
Conjecture 1: The West can, and does, fight on the enemies turf.
While Eastern modeled autocracies can, and do, strike in the heart of western polities their ability to export war is not sustainable and not conclusive. Easterns autocracies fundamentally fight a raiding style of battle emphasizing face and honor. Conversely, the technologically and economically and socially advanced West shoves the war to the heart of the enemy and seeks to tear that life sustaining organ out of the vanquished – permanently.
Conjecture 2: Once aroused, Democracies Fight Total War
an approach to battle that has been evolving since the time of the ancient Greeks, and that now involves applying maximum discipline and violence at the point of engagement in order to annihilate, not merely defeat, an opponent. William Holmes, Amazon book review of ‘Carnage and Culture’
the direct action model of warfare creates a ruthlessness, a directness, and a constant search for the decisive battle, which Hanson argues, is peculiarly western. Thus in the second world war Marshall argued for the direct frontal assault on German occupied Europe as the correct search for the decisive battle. Newt Gingrich, Amazon book review of ‘Carnage and Culture’
Conjecture 3: The West can, and does, export its values.
Democracies rarely fight with one another. Looking in the crystal ball it is difficult to envision a conflict with democratic Germany, Italy, or Japan. Likewise, there does not seem to be intercene conflict with Australia, Canada, and France. Pax Americana is predicated on the belief that America can, and does, export its values via soft and hard power. Hard power is visible in the military component in the Global War on Terror. Soft power is visible in the growing democratic realities of Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebenon, Jordan, and the Middle East – not to mention the expansion of ideas through mediums that cannot be controlled by the worlds autocracies (Internet, FAXs, cell phones, etc.).
Thus, the west is expanding the core and shrinking the gap. If the idiotic Left and moronic paleocons can be marginalized and/or ignored for a few short months or years the wheel of progress will have rotated beyond the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As Wretchard states in ‘The Blitz Comes to London’:
Insular Britain, which fought a long terrorist war against the IRA is one of the hardest targets in the Western world. There is no reason, in principle, why similar attacks cannot happen on a larger or deadlier scale in some American or Australian city, less prepared than London -- or indeed anyplace in the world -- such as Thailand, India or the Philippines -- where they have happened already. As long as Islamic fundamentalist terror exists danger will exist. Liberals may believe that accommodation, appeasement or flattery can change this correspondence. But terrorism will remind the world as often as it needs reminding that there isn't room enough on the planet for Islamic terror and civilization.
Solutions can be gleaned within the valuable discussions taking place in these references - and many others. Basically, they fall into two categories:
Wretchard's 3rd Conjecture, as summarized in:
- 'National Strategy for Victory in Iraq', Bush Administration
- 'Strategic overview', Den Beste
- 'The Rise, Peak, Decline and Defeat of Iraq's Insurgency', Mixed Humor
- 'Winning the War on Terror', Me
or, regretfully, Wretchard's Second Conjecture - which I postulate does not, in actuality, require a repeatable WMD attack capability by Islamic Terror. Prior even to the possession of WMD; weak, indecisive, dithering, and/or corrupt leadership by the West rolls the wheel in this regrettable direction.