The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Strategy in the War on the Terrorists

Former Navy Secretary and 9/11 Commission member John Lehman had an article on the war against the terrorist in this months Naval Institute "Proceedings" magazine.

He points out some of the problems we've encountered, particularly in prosecuting the 1993 Trade Center bombers, in approaching the war as a law enforcement problem. But I think Chuck's main point (about our problem needing a law enforcement/criminal law approach) is well taken and the British in Malaya and Kenya in the 1950s is instructive. The British used very limited manpower, mostly light and special infantry, and a large amount of civil, indigenous local police forces, and civil affairs/humanitarian relief strategies to attack the Communist Terrorists (CTs) in Malaya and Mau Mau in Kenya in their base camps, isolating them from the ethnic Chinese and Masai "sea" to beach the insurgent "fish," and using political and social reform to fight the ideas of the communist ideology inspiring the insurgencies.

I think there is a lot to be said about full spectrum, multi-agency efforts to dismantle terrorist cells, take away their sanctuaries and their support, and fight the "idea" that drives their so-called mission statement. I don't think the military approach on securing territory/attacking sanctuaries can be entirely dismissed. But as Tom Paine said, the only think you can't fight with violence is an "idea."

Lehman's article said that popular thinking even misnames the war (like a war against kamikazes in WWII). I have been calling it a war against the TERRORISTS for a long time now. Lehman is taking it perhaps a little too far by saying we need to wage war against the radical form of Islam. Lehman even suggests that we profile and harass Arabs/Muslims in our own country as a prophylactic measure. I think that is going way too far and would be counter-productive. I can give anyone an example with my Marine vet, cop friend, a Palestinian-American who is catholic. How can anyone tell he is a terrorist just by looking at him?

There is a lot of room for debate for the whole country. I still think there should be a two-track approach to fighting the terrorists, and my approach when seen in whole may be an interesting approach: Libertarian Internationalism and the Maritime Strategy.


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