Establishing a Deterrent
Neither political party has offered a vision of
Establishing a deterrent takes more than creating a strong military. A military is worthless if our enemy doesn’t believe we will use it in retaliation to destroy all that our enemy values. Few fear
The prevailing view is that the enemy can’t be stopped with a deterrent because they are willing to die. This, of course, is enemy propaganda meant to project an image of invincibility and demoralize our efforts. Islam is not a spiritual religion in origin; it is a land-grabbing imperialist warrior religion that appended a spiritual component to strengthen its fighting capacity. The obsession with land is apparent today and dramatized by the fury over losing a sliver of real estate in the West Bank from land that stretches from
The strength of the Islamic religion comes from without not within. Winning battles, extending the domain of Islamic rule, and humiliating the infidel invigorate the religion. After the Islamic attack of September 11th, bin Laden remained one of the top three admired Islamic figures by the vast majority of Muslims for years according to the
The euphoria after September 11th didn’t last. The Pew polls show that bin Laden is losing his popularity. His plan backfired after we easily gained control of two nations and surrounded a third poised to attack. Today it is common to hear Arabs talk about how 9/11 was a Zionist plot and an excuse to steal Muslim land. This is an admission that 9/11 was a failure resulting in the loss of control to a foreign power of what was once the heart of the Caliphate:
While the battles of
During the last 50 years we too have sought to win the “hearts and minds” of the Islamic world by taking Nasser’s side in the Suez Crises, helping Egypt get back the Sinai from Israel, coming to the rescue of Muslims in the Balkans, helping the Afghans fight the Soviets, coming to the aid of Kuwaitis, protecting Saudi Arabia from Saddam, etc. We so much wish to avoid killing our enemy that we dropped food behind enemy lines during the first few weeks of the Afghan war. And we’ve supported the Palestinians for 50 years directly or through the United Nations. Even today we are searching for loopholes to send aid to the supporters of Hamas in the
Hasn’t anyone noticed our generosity has backfired? In a warrior culture, generosity is seen as a weakness. If anything, appeasement isn’t a deterrent but an inflammatory accelerant. A deterrent isn’t established by our willingness to help our enemies but our willingness to kill our enemies. The reason we are at war today is because we have failed to establish a deterrent. To do so now requires a prompt show of force to deal with today's threats. Credibility requires a clear policy and a certain response. Unfortunately, our clarity has dissipated and our resolve has eroded.
“We must be better than them” seems to be the cliché heard on the left and too often on the right. War isn’t about “being better”—it’s about survival. Although the notion of "better" divorced from survival is suspect on the face of it. It’s not how you play the game—it isn’t a game—it’s about winning. This war won’t be won until the enemy fears losing their family, village, tribe, and, above all, their land. It won’t be won until they are asking how they can win our “hearts and minds.” But not only are we afraid to kill, we are guilt ridden if they suffer or die of their own failure. The “humanitarian” aid to the Palestinians is a case in point as is the left’s call to come to the rescue of those in
It is important that we do not help in
Muslims aren't going to abandon Islam—at least any time soon. They will continue to embrace the principle of jihad. However, they may decide that it isn’t prudent to act on that principle. That is part of establishing a deterrent. In the long-run they may question their religion and marginalize it as the Turks did in the 1920s. However, there will be no long-run for civilization if we do not insure our security today. We must fight today's battles if we are to discourage tomorrow's. But with every act of appeasement, with every act of groveling to win their "hearts and minds," and every time we hold back from vanquishing the enemy, we undercut every brave man and woman who has fought the enemy on the battle field. We can win the battles but we will lose the war without the proper leadership that can define a proper course, champion our righteousness, and demonstrate our resolve.
These are my current thoughts on defense. The floor is open for discussion!