Friday, May 30, 2008

The War Today

U.S. Cites Big Gains Against Al-Qaeda
Front page on the Washington Post no less.

"The sense of shifting tides in the terrorism fight is shared by a number of terrorism experts, though some caution that it is too early to tell whether the gains are permanent. Some credit Hayden and other U.S. intelligence leaders for going on the offensive against al-Qaeda in the area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the tempo of Predator strikes has dramatically increased from previous years. But analysts say the United States has caught some breaks in the past year, benefiting from improved conditions in Iraq, as well as strategic blunders by al-Qaeda that have cut into its support base"

""One of the lessons we can draw from the past two years is that al-Qaeda is its own worst enemy," said Robert Grenier, a former top CIA counterterrorism official who is now managing director of Kroll, a risk consulting firm. "Where they have succeeded initially, they very quickly discredit themselves." "

Its easy to support terrorism when you don't have to live with the consequences. This explains much of the apathy or verbal support for terrorism. Likewise, its easy to dismiss the danger of terrorism or undercut our efforts against it when you live a safe, insulated and affluent life, certain that the consequences will not impact you personally.

The Sunnis in Iraq, the favored political base of Saddam, learned the wages of supporting terrorists. Grievances cited by terrorists are just excuses, they are vicious barbarians who will subject everyone to their brutality.

'Now the American Forces Are on the Right Track'

'Nuff said.

VDH: Do we still have Grants or Shermans?

"A common complaint is that a worn-out military has lost the peace in Iraq and should withdraw in defeat. In fact, recruitments in June exceeded the military's goals, violence in Iraq is down, Shiite and Sunni terrorists are losing ground to the new military of a constitutional Iraq — and the junior American outsiders who engineered all that may soon be seniors on the inside."

IMO, the military is stronger because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are achieving success in deployments throughout the world. I recommend Robert Kaplan's Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts, which details the extent of American deployments. Our military has never been so widely deployed, so well trained or efficient, nor as effective. We spend 4.5% of GNP on the military, far less than the historical standard. We should consolidate our strategic success and cement our military prowess by raising it to 5% of GNP.

"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster." - William Tecumseh Sherman