Monday, December 08, 2003

Flypaper ::

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting take on a more global strategy for the war on terror. Rather than viewing the insurgents in Iraq as an unfortunate counter force to forces of democratization and stabilization, view it as an opportunity.

Every foreign fighter that comes to Iraq is fighting on our terms, against our best, instead of civilians fighting & fleeing in New York or London.

The article quotes U.S. Army Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq::

[Sanchez] just opined on CNN that attacks against U.S. forces have increased in "sophistication, especially in the improvised explosive devices that they are using, and we're working to learn from that and to be able to counter them." He went on, critically: "This is what I would call a terrorist magnet, where America, being present here in Iraq, creates a target of opportunity... But this is exactly where we want to fight them. ...This will prevent the American people from having to go through their attacks back in the United States." You won't find a better description of the "flytrap" strategy anywhere - or from a more authoritative source.

This article is linked to in a more recent post that makes good use of Sun Tzu in describing why the recent flight of combatants from Afganistan to Iraq is good for the U.S.::

If [your enemy] is in superior strength, evade him.
Sending al Qaeda foot soldiers to attack mechanized infantry divisions is not an economical use of their rather limited resources.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
We are expecting terrorist attacks in Iraq, and prepare for them constantly.

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.
The World Trade Center was undefended. The US military in Iraq is a hard target.

The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
Iraq is a far better place for the Coalition to fight al Qaeda than Afghanistan. We have tremendous military strength in country; the terrain is favorable for modern mechanized warfare; a substantial portion of the population is friendly to us and hostile to terrorists; and our intelligence capabilities are growing stronger every day.

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