The Warrior Scholar

This is a blog about current events - a way to provide a constructive outlet for some of the thoughts I have on the issues of the day. It's also a way to generate some discussion and to get my ideas out into the world. Enjoy!

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

I'm a doctoral candidate in Virginia, with a love of history and politics. My dog is a great companion, and my family always keeps me in good spirits.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Strategic Aims in the GWOT and the ISG

Let's look at this strategically and see how the ISG addressed the strategic goals of the GWOT.

US Strategic Goals: Defeat Al-Quida and establish conditions to prevent further attacks on the US.
1. Defeat Al Quida in Afghanistan by overthrowing the Taliban and destroying their bases.
2. Overthrow Saddam Hussein and eliminate terrorist safe havens in Iraq; win the low intesity war fought against US since 1998.
3. Defeat Al Quida globally by working with allies to roll up Islamic terrorist cells.
4. Implement long-term solution by addressing root causes of conflict. Establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq and later spread freedom and economic prosperity throughout the Middle East.

Bin Ladin's/Al Quida Strategic Goals
1. Stay alive.
2. Remove US power from the Middle East: sets conditions for goals 3 & 4.
3. Overthrow existing Sunni-led Arab governments
4. Establish a totalitarian Islamic Caliphate to retake the Middle East, Balkans, and Spain.

Saddam Hussein's Strategic Goals
1. Stay in power.
2. Remove US power from the Middle East: sets conditions for goal 3.
3. Overthrow neighbors to establish a Nazi-inspired Sunni Baathist totalitarian empire.

Ahmadinejad's/Iranian Strategic Goals
1. Stay in power.
2. Remove US power from the Middle East: sets conditions for goals 3 & 4.
3. Overthrow existing Sunni-led Middle Eastern governments.
4. Establish Shia authoritarian theocracy over the Shia dominated lands in the Middle East and regain primacy in the Middle East.

Now that we have the strategic goals of the major players - how are we doing?
US: First three achieved and working on goal 4. Went on the strategic offensive and overthrew the Taliban and Saddam. Established democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. US and allied governments currently fighting to consolidate gains made to date. Rolled up terror cells worldwide. No successful attacks against US mainland in five years and kept economy strong.

Al Quida: Leadership has been decimated and is now in hiding. No successful attacks against the US mainland in five years. Has lost its bases in Afghanistan. Failed to get the US out of the Middle East, overthrow any Sunni regimes, or establish a Caliphate. Very poor support from the "Arab street." Has been able to continue to claim it is a player by simple survival and a very effective propaganda campaign. Hard to claim victory from a cave.

Saddam: Completely failed. Made arguably the worst intelligence failure by misreading the US.

Iran: Has failed to push the US from the region. Pursuing nuclear weapons because its support of the Shia insurgency in the south and support of Sunni insurgency in the west (with Syria’s support) isn't doing the job. Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons has spooked its Sunni Arab neighbors to begin nuclear programs.

Now that we have reviewed the strategic objectives of each of the main players, why would the ISG want to give our enemies everything they want and snatch defeat from the jaws of US strategic victory?