Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Winds of War: Thinking About the Unthinkable– Part 2: World War III

In Part One of this series, we discussed civil war in Europe. In this post we'll look at the face of World War III. Now, there’s talk from the military and intelligence sectors that the war we’re fighting against the Islamists is something new.

I disagree.

Islamists are using an age old tactic of guerrilla warfare - its use of the Viet Cong by the North Vietnamese is a recent example. We call it terrorism today. But the objective is the same. Weaken the opposition using surrogates by hitting them where it’s difficult or impossible to respond. Then follow up with conventional forces from the host nations that supported the insurgency with uniformed combatants.

Now it seems that I’ve been proven right – by the jihadists themselves, of all people.
In a blog entry entitled Al Qaeda Building Army in Preparation for Long War, the Jawa Report summarizes a long analysis from a fascinating article at the Jamestown Foundation.

In the Jamestown Foundation analysis, Michael Scheuer reports on the strategic writings of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia leader Abu Hajar Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin. It seems that al-Muqrin has given a lot of thought to the "long war" against the United States. Yes, al-Muqrin apparently is in agreement with the Bush Administration that this will be a long and protracted war. A conflict that is not the ‘war on terror’ – a most ignorant and deceiving description of the struggle we are in. It is ignorant because it is senseless and it is deceiving because it camouflages our actual enemy, making us more vulnerable. Terrorism is a tactic, not a foe. To declare war on terror is akin to saying that World War II should have been fought to rid the world of naval armada’s and blitzkrieg. If we had focused our energies on killing every kamikaze suicide bomber and every S.S. terrorist, the political and religious regimes that manufactured them, unchecked, would have produced far more of them far faster than we could have killed them.

al-Muqrin also agrees with my analysis that the jihadists will eventually have to create a standing army to reach their final objectives of creating a world ruled by Islam and finally overthrow the free democracies.

al-Muqrin says in so many words that those who use terrorism must build “a military force….that becomes the nucleus of a military army.”

In other words, insurgents who use terrorist tactics can not win the war themselves. To do that, like in every war before this, you must occupy enemy territory to win and force your ideology on the population. That means putting boots on the ground. Like all other wars, there will be a theater of battle. That theater stretches from North Africa through the Middle East through south-central Asia to Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Some Islamic nation or nations will lead the alliance in this war of fronts.

So how would the militaristic ‘battle front’ of the coming war against Islmo-Fascism begin? Fordam suggests a civil war blow over from Europe or a nuke exchange in the mid-east hampering or halting the oil flow.

We will easily win a full scale war with the Islam. What worries me is that in the event of a nuclear event in the West, we will rapidly go for the SECOND CONJECTURE option.

What is the Second Conjecture option? What are the other two? The USS Clueless Blog explains.

The idea of three conjectures comes from a blog posting by the pseudonymous Wretchard at the site "Belmont Club" where he (?) makes three conjectures about WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) and the future of Islam. He is correct to refer to them as conjectures, which are the result of intelligent speculation but which are not claimed to be proved, or even to be probable. But they're intriguing, and worth consideration.….He focuses on the difference between capabilities and intentions, a critical difference in strategic calculations….Capabilities are what an enemy can do; intentions are what he wants to do. He may want to do things but not have the ability, and he may have abilities he has no intention to use.

The Belmont Cub post describes the three conjectures.

Conjecture 1: Terrorism has lowered the nuclear threshold. The obstacles to terrorist capability are the sole reason that the War on Terror has not yet crossed the nuclear threshold, the point at which enemies fight each other with weapons of mass destruction. The terrorist intent to destroy the United States, at whatever cost to themselves, has been a given since September 11. Only their capability is in doubt.

Conjecture 2: Attaining WMDs will destroy the Jihadists. If Islamic militants gained the ability to make several devastating attacks against us with nuclear weapons (albeit at a slow rate via smuggling) that if this then devolved into a "city-swapping" duel that there would be a strong incentive for us to end the war quickly by making a saturation strike against most of the Arab and Islamic world, since that would reduce our casualties in the long run.

He thinks this is improbable, and suggests that it is far more likely that following a WMD strike, the US would issue an ultimatum to any nation suspected of complicity, demanding full cooperation absent which they would be obliterated. Steven den Beste discusses how the United States might respond to a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). “Would we actually obliterate the first nation which didn't fully cooperate? I don't think so; I think that we'd fire one warning shot ... But that would only happen one time, not once per nation. If anyone after that didn't get the message, I think we would do it, because we would have to.”
Fjordman sees the consequences of Conjecture #2 differently from Beste.

Over the last two years I have stated on LittleGreenFootballs and Jihad/Dhimmi Watch that our inevitable large scale nuclear response, will also shatter the foundations of our own civilization. Our Judeo-Christian civilization has a built-in guilt complex, and we will not be able to sustain the shock of our victory bought at such expense. That is why the war option is not really a good one unless, unless we can re-define what this war is about. However, if we do NOT carry the war to the enemy with a correctly defined moral and political purpose, we will not be able to have public backing for the war. The Jihad in the meantime will continue, for in the eyes of the Jihadis and the Muslim world, they have a clear moral and religious purpose, and divinely sanctioned to boot.

On to the last – and hopeful – conjecture.

Conjecture 3: The War on Terror is the 'Golden Hour' - the final chance. It is supremely ironic that the survival of the Islamic world should hinge on an American victory in the War on Terror, the last chance to prevent that terrible day in which all the decisions will have already been made for us. That effort really consists of two separate aspects: a campaign to destroy the locus of militant Islam and prevent their acquisition of WMDs; and an attempt to awaken the world to the urgency of the threat. While American arms have proven irresistible, much of Europe, as well as moderates in the Islamic world, remain blind to the danger and indeed increase it. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad recently "told an international conference of young Muslim leaders ... (that) ... Muslims must acquire skills and technology so they can create modern weapons and strike fear into the hearts of our enemies". Fecklessness and gunpowder are a lethal combination.

Robert Spencer writes, “This war by Islam against Europe, the West and indeed mankind has been going on for more than 1300 years. This is the third major Jihad, the third Islamic attempt to subdue the heartland of the West. Although I cannot prove this, I have a very strong feeling that this will also be the last attempt. There will be no fourth Jihad.”

The third and final conjecture is, as Wretchard explains, our last chance to save the world from a very very nasty and deadly conflict that will destroy Islam and, according to Fjordman, may just shatter the foundations of our civilization.

We will take it? Only the next few years will tell.


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