Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Long War: A Year-in-Review

Bill Roggio has an excellent military blog that compiles all the latest military news in the Long War from around the world. Here is his wrap-up for 2006 on all fronts.

The year 2007 will be a very critical year in the Long War and I believe will be the decisive year if our fight against global Islamic extremism is to be successful. Most important to our effort is still Iraq (I know there are some who try to separate the war, but I am sorry, if you read the news, analyze the combatants presently there, and read Al-Qaeda's own statements, you will realize that this is not the case). Gen. Petraeus will soon be taking over the head command in that war and there will be additional troops in Baghdad and in Anbar Province. There has been WAY too much rheteoric on this "surge". Critics have tried to argue that there is no change in strategy buut this is not the case at all. Classic counterinsurgency tactics will be now the main weapon in that front. Unfortunately it has taken too long to get this started, but better late than never. The embeds of US military units in Iraqi forces cannot be understated and the same can be said for the troops now living amongst the cleared and secured territory. This absolutely essential in building trust, establishing stability, and growing intelligence networks with the indigenous people. This war has for far too long been politicized, regardless of whether or not you agreed the decision. It is absolutely essential to WIN. Mark my words, if we do not win, I believe the United States military will NEVER be the same. This has nothing to do with Iraq being a part of the war or not. The country's "Vietnamization" has seeped into every armed conflict from the Gulf War, Bosnia, and Somalia. Whatever the next major conflict was (which is now Iraq) and regardless of the cause, the country was going to have to face its fear of Vietnam and deal with it. Instead of half-assed commitments, we will settle for not committing anything ever again. The American psyche will never be the same. Faced with a loss, I truly believe we will not be able to sustain nor commit to a CONVENTIONAL war against an explicity evil enemy that rivals that of Nazi Germany. I hope I am wrong, but I do not believe that is what our nation's history and the "big picture" is telling me.

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