Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rumsfeld going "Middleman"?

Here's an interesting one. For anyone who is in disagreement with my criticism of how the war on terror is being fought, along with telling me that I'm naive in that it simply HAS to be fought the way our government has done it up until now, you might want to think again. After all, your Secretary of Defense seems to be doing so.

Details of the plans are secret, but in general they envision a significantly expanded role for the military -- and, in particular, a growing force of elite Special Operations troops -- in continuous operations to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed over about three years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, the plans reflect a beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.

It's not EXACTLY what I'm asking for. But it's a move in the correct direction.

7 comments:

tom l said...

do you think the 'war on terrorism' is similar to 'the cold war', in the sense that it is essentially an ideological struggle that will take generations to unfold, with military actions taken here and there to quell perceived 'danger spots', but that in the end the enemy will fall on its own sword, in this case due to the sheer insanity of its belief system? do you believe that the 'spreading democracy' approach, of making other cultures more like america, is anything less than a multi-generational endeavor? in the long run, the world will change, nobody knows how. in the short run, do you think that war leads to anything good?

tom l said...

by the way, i like a lot of your taste in movies and music! 12 monkeys, excellent stuff. i've got a sort-of time travel thing you might find entertaining - http://timezoneserial.blogspot.com/2006/02/time-zero.html

John said...

"do you think the 'war on terrorism' is similar to 'the cold war', in the sense that it is essentially an ideological struggle that will take generations to unfold"

I guess many wars are sort of similar and I certainly agree that this will unfold over decades.

"but that in the end the enemy will fall on its own sword, in this case due to the sheer insanity of its belief system?"

Maybe. But it will take a LONG TIME. The "insanity" you are talking about is not some new part of Islam. While it doesn't reflect the beliefs of most Muslims, it has certainly been around for a long time already.

"in the short run, do you think that war leads to anything good?"

War, HUH, Good god y'all, what is it good for? - absolutely NOTHING! Say it again now!

Well, unfortunately, this human race of ours will never rid itself of it and some wars make sense. The war on terror makes sense. But fighting it by conquering countries and trying to install our values has, in my opinion, many flaws, among them a basic flaw in logic - If every single Middle Eastern country was turned in to a western democracy, how would that end terrorism? Hmmm... seems to me that the same shadow groups that hate us will still be there and probably make a lot of new converts who hate western intervention as much or more than they hate Islamic fanatics. We could control the Middle East and EXPAND terror. It's entirely possible.

"12 monkeys, excellent stuff."

I was just telling a couple of people that it is a must see. I have reservations about SOME time travel movies, others are really good, this one was incredible.

tom l said...

yes, i agree with your analysis above. i was trying to get to what your thoughts are on how it should be fought. are you thinking that small covert strike forces are the way to go? i don't have any particular answers, but talking about democracy while operating death squads and invading countries reminds me of our cold-war latin america policy, which was pretty dismal.

John said...

I've written on it elsewhere... I'll check and see if I can find a blog to refer you to. But my short answer (which is never a good thing - it leaves too many holes and unanswered questions) is that I think we are in an unconventional war.

This is not the Civil War, WWI, WWII, or even Korea or Vietnam. This isn't (or shouldn't be) about "countries". It's about being at word against groups (cells) with a mindset of using violence to achieve their ends. So these are who we should be focused on.

And, yes, that would involve high tech solutions, intelligence gathering, covert ops against specific "high value" targets. Sometimes individuals, sometimes small groups, training facilities, financial targets, etc.

But I just don't get this idea of conquering countries, killing a lot of innocents on the way, needlessly putting our young people in harms way all in the name of fighting terrorism - when I don't even see it having anything more than a tangential effect on it. And I didn't start saying this in hindsight. I said it right from the beginning and I've seen nothing that makes me think I'm wrong since.

tom l said...

yes, i think we're in agreement on this. thanks for clarifying

HankBarnes said...

The only thing I like about Rumsfeld is that he is a cantankerous, crotchedy old-man.

In sum, he is the McKiernan of our National Security apparatus:)

[I'm giggling now]

Alright, that officially is the last McKiernan joke.

John, please ban me publically if I make fun of McKiernan again.

Oh yeah, my view on the War on Terror. It is a mess.

Hank Barnes