Discussing what's right till there's nothing left.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Losing the Psych War on Terror

In any war, psychology plays an important role. You want you enemy to believe certain things about you that give you and advantage.

In the war against Islamic terror, one must understand both what motivates the enemy to attack you and what you can do to deter those attacks.

Osama Bin Laden has railed against the immorality of the west in numerous speeches. He calls us infidels not only because we are non Muslim but because he sees the western way of life as corrosive and immoral. Dinesh D'Souza writes about this in "The Enemy at Home". As the prospects for changing our trends in homosexuality, birth control, abortions, divorce, women's rights, style of dress, sexual and violent images on TV, in movies and in song lyrics, all seem unlikely to change dramatically anytime soon, we then need to examine how to make the enemy leave us alone.

As a superpower, military might and projection of strength can deter many an enemy from attacking us. in fact, it is our overwhelming military superiority that makes the terrorists resort to asymmetrical warfare, suicide attacks, bombings and the like. This enemy looks for any signs of weakness and exploits them.

While the Bush administration projected power by quick strike invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which quickly displaced the terror hosting regimes, the aftermath of both invasions revealed weaknesses. Not only was the post invasion planning flawed, but the resolve of the US showed cracks as well and by 2004, Bush was weakened and nearly lost reelection. His critics charged that he was heavy handed in interrogations of terror suspects, and charged that the strategy of detaining terror suspects in the off-shore facility at Guantanamo Bay was illegal and unconstitutional.

The current state of affairs is even more alarming. The politician who led the charge against the Iraq war is now the Commander-in-Chief. His policies are so radically different from his predecessor's that the enemy might well deem them a sign of weakness. From the announced closing of GITMO to the intent to hold civilian trials for the most high profile terrorists to the announcement that openly homosexual soldiers will be allowed in the military, the terrorists must believe America has lost the will to fight the war on terror. The recent increase in activity at Fort Hood and on Christmas Day were probing attacks and tell a lot about how the Obama administration will fight this war. Political correctness trumps security.

I believe we no longer are projecting the great strength of the world's last super power and have succumbed to a policy that will be exploited by a crafty and relentless enemy. Most is perception. None of those actions by themselves open us up to attack. And behind the scenes, the military policy of the previous administration is mostly intact and has even accelerated in some regards with the drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen.

But our enemy is shifty, patient, and calculating. They will find any weakness in our tactics and resolve and use it to their advantage. The know for example that they need not disguise thenselves. Quite the opposite. They are far more likely to succeed if they dress and act Muslim as the authorities go out of their way to appear accommodating and avoiding profiling.

In todays congressional hearings, the top administration officials for security were asked the likelihood of a new attack in the next 6 months. Unanimously they said there will certainly be more attacks in the near term. Now we hear that Abdulmutallab is talking to the FBI. So they're not guessing. They know.

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