It is now March of 2011. That jihadi attack on the United States is over nine years behind us. The declaration of a global jihad from Iran in 1979 is over 30 years in our rear view mirror. The national security apparatus of the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to “make America safer,” yet we still have not defined our enemy – or even tried. There is no place in the national security structure which has objectively evaluated the threat doctrine of our enemy, and then created a strategic plan for victory for the United States – per U.S. warfighting doctrine. This lack of strategic understanding of the nature of the threat we face is not only costing us lives on the battlefield in wars with no realistically stated objectives, but so long as we drift aimlessly, we cannot win and we allow the enemy to move our boat as he sees fit. That, is the enemy’s strategy. And he is executing with great success.
Does anyone wonder how it is the U.S. military is crushing the enemy on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) daily, yet not winning the strategic war?
The United States continues to view the wars (the establishment sees this as several conflicts, not as one global conflict) as kinetic engagements where guns, air power, drones, bombs, and other weapon of war are brought to bear on “Al Qaeda terrorists” and others with whom we are engaged on the many battlefields around the world. At the FBI, the focus is on preventing the next attack. While this is important, “attacks” are not the main focus of effort for this enemy. Local and State Police are also focused on preventing attacks, the physical security of office buildings, critical infrastructure, and the safety of important public figures. When the subject of an investigation is found NOT to be involved in a plot to cause “violence” that case is closed and the investigator goes on to the next one in the stack. This is where we are losing the war. While preventing a school bus bombing or the take-over of a bank by Jihadis should be taken seriously by our law enforcement officers, from the enemy’s perspective, these are tactical engagements, not strategic.