HUMINT: Follow us Home?

HUMINT: If we quit our wars now, will terrorists follow us home? In other words, will terrorists attack Americans in the United States, IF the U.S. Army precipitously withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan? It’s a simple, YES or NO question. If YES, the U.S. Army should stay to win the wars we’ve started. If NO, we have already won our wars; let’s end the fighting by bringing the troops home now. Sounds simple, right? But it isn’t that simple. The repercussions of wars are never simple. Indeed, the question is terribly misleading. By asking it, the inquisitor creates two faux alternatives. No matter which side you choose, the two politically charged answers are so emotionally distracting that they both eclipse the question’s irrelevance. Let’s assume, for the sake of this essay, American journalist, politicians and historians have relinquished their occupational responsibilities and deconstruct the question ourselves. To do so, let’s break it down into more manageable questions. After that, we can subject each component to a – who, what, where, when, why and how – test.

QUESTION: Will terrorists attack Americans in the United States, IF the U.S. Army precipitously withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan? ANSWER: see who, what, when and where below.

WHO: Indigenous and foreign terrorists are flowing to the Iraqi and Afghani battle fronts to attack Americans and their interests there. Individually, the terrorist or insurgent represent an amalgam of national origins, motivations and affiliations. Precise statistics on the level of foreign vs. indigenous insurgents are not readily available to the general public. Certainly any percentage of foreign terrorist influence in Iraq and Afghanistan is disconcerting. Foreign contributions to terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq are central to the question of what will occur when these two fronts dissolve. As they operate off the battle field, foreign organizers will undoubtedly live through these wars. What decisions these organizers are likely to make after these wars is an important variable. If the United States cannot interdict these individuals during these wars, there should be no confidence among policy makers that allied agencies would be able to do so after these wars.

WHAT: Terrorism is an asymmetric manifestation of aggression. Raw aggression, regardless of its excuse, is a return to jungle law. Jungle law does not adhere to academic conflict resolution formulae. Starting it and stopping it has everything to do with fundamental human behaviors and effective communication. If terrorists and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan were fighting for independence, as was the case with the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, the insurgent enemy would be attacking more coherently. Instead, the enemy’s raw aggression is directed in nearly every direction. Incoherent or seemingly random acts of violence raises anxiety among the populous subjected to it. Self sustaining violent trends in Iraq and Afghanistan must be mitigated or stopped to prevent regional or global leakage.

WHEN: The time scale terrorists operate on is very different than the West’s. Western Democracies are open systems. They are cyclical, transparent, reliable and inherently predictable. These qualities make the West successful but simultaneously represent serious security gaps. Despite the rhetoric of government officials seeking more and more authority, there is little they can do to protect their citizenry from suicidal mass murdering terrorists. They can try to disrupt terrorist recruitment, try to infiltrate, and try to engage vociferous agitators and will occasionally succeed in their own jurisdiction. Unfortunately, their level of success has more to do with the mistakes a terrorist makes than their own efficacy. Groups of people can legally organize and educate individuals within a Western democracy. They can do the same in regions of the world that exist seemingly without law. In either scenario, successful democracy or perpetual violence, Iraq and Afghanistan will remain havens for terrorist recruiting for their next generation.

WHERE: Terrorist and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan reportedly migrate from province to province, establishing safe houses. Iraq and Afghanistan are two diffuse fronts in a regional war. Politically, these two wars extend well beyond the Middle East and influence government efficacy on every continent – hence the phrase Global War on Terror, GWOT. Terrorists violence has touched but not plagued Spain, Britain, India, Pakistan, Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel have all experienced and or thwarted terrorist attacks since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Lebanon, Syria and Iran have all been involved in stoking violence. In some cases, terror attacks directly referenced the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. Given its history as an international phenomenon, where it occurs is not as key a variable as the question implies. Would be terrorists are already in the West.

CONCLUSION: Iraq and Afghanistan are central fronts in a regional war. Trends toward greater globalization and increased reliance on fossil fuels will continue to provide Middle Easterners with indirect resources to attack Western interests. This analysis suggests that “the likelihood of terrorists following us home” is high, even in the best case scenarios. The window of opportunity to win in Iraq and Afghanistan is short and the enemy was aware of it at the outset of this war. The next six months will show if the American people and the United States Government that represents them, including the Army fighting their wars, have learned enough in the last four years to win. In situations like these, there is no alternative to optimism. Failure is not an option.

Labels: , , , ,




  • HUMINT: Follow us Home?

    01.90   06.90   09.90   01.91   05.91   09.94   08.95   01.97   09.97   08.98   11.99   01.00   05.00   07.00   03.01   09.01   01.03   03.03   05.03   06.03   07.03   09.03   10.03   11.03   03.04   05.04   06.04   07.04   09.04   10.04   11.04   12.04   01.05   02.05   03.05   04.05   05.05   06.05   07.05   08.05   09.05   10.05   11.05   12.05   01.06   02.06   03.06   04.06   05.06   06.06   07.06   08.06   09.06   10.06   11.06   12.06   01.07   02.07   03.07   04.07   05.07   06.07   07.07   08.07   09.07   10.07   11.07   12.07   01.08   06.08   09.08  


  • Best of Google Vid
  • Iraqhurr Radio Free Iraq
  • Kurdistan TV
  • RFE Radio Liberty
  • Radio Free Iraq
  • 1st Headlines
  • Al Bab
  • Al Bawaba - ARABIC
  • Al Bawaba - ENGLISH
  • Al Iraqi
  • Aswat al Iraq - ARABIC
  • Aswat al Iraq - ENGLISH
  • Aswat al Iraq - KURDISH
  • Big News Network
  • EIN News
  • Electronic Iraq
  • Inside Iraq
  • Iraq Crisis Bulletin
  • Iraq Daily
  • Iraq Economy
  • Iraq Energy
  • Iraq Journal
  • Iraq Net
  • Iraq Photos
  • Iraq Sport
  • Iraq Updates
  • Iraqi News
  • Iraqi Papers
  • Moreover
  • One World
  • RUSI
  • Sotal Iraq
  • Topix
  • Yahoo
  • Zawya
  • Baghdad Bulletin
  • Economist
  • Az Zaman - ENGLISH
  • Iraq Today
  • Guardian
  • Al Mannarah
  • Al Ahali
  • Al Fourat
  • Al Itijah Al Akhar
  • Al Ittihad
  • Al Sabah
  • Al Tariq
  • Alef Yaa
  • Baghdad
  • Baghdad
  • Iraq Today
  • Radio Dijla
  • humint

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?