View Full Version : Military Plots a 'Long War' on Terror

02-20-2006, 09:18 AM
20 Feb. Washington Times - Military Plots a 'Long War' on Terror (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060220-121019-1000r.htm) by Rowan Scarbourgh.

Joint Chiefs of Staff planners have produced a 27-page briefing on the war on terror that seeks to explain how to win the "long war" and says Islamic extremists may be supported by 12 million Muslims worldwide.

Military planners worry that al Qaeda could win if "traditional allies prefer accommodation."

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the document states, "is absolutely committed to his cause. His religious ideology successfully attracts recruits. He has sufficient population base from which to protract the conflict. ... Even support of 1 percent of the Muslim population would equate to over 12 million 'enemies.' "

The unclassified production, titled "Fighting the Long War -- Military Strategy for the War on Terrorism," is a component of the Pentagon's ongoing campaign to explain that a lengthy struggle requires patience from the American people and Congress.

It holds up the 1930s as an example of how not to respond to extremism, noting Europe's appeasement of German dictator Adolf Hitler.

"The consequences of inaction" in the 1930s, the briefing says, "Lives lost: 300,000; 70 million worldwide. ... War expenditures: $3.1 trillion ... 38 percent of GDP per year. [The Pentagon today is spending 3.8 percent of U.S. GDP.] U.S. reconstruction expenditures: $90 billion over four years."...

02-24-2006, 02:58 PM
The Hitler analogy is an incredibly poor one. How about someone work the math out for our failure to respond to Hizbollah in 1983? How about someone work it out for the failures of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919? How about someone work it out for our involvement with the overthrow of Mossadegh and subsequent support of the Shah in 1953?

Merv Benson
02-24-2006, 05:29 PM
Hitler analogies have lost all meaning when you have people routinely referring to the President of the US as Hitler like. It is clear that those making the analogies do not know much about history or Hitler. That being said, there is a legitimate concern about appeasement of our current enemy. I think the other situations raised by the Major are examples not so much of appeasement, but decisions to chose whether or not to give battle at that time. That failure to give battle very well may have emboldened the enemy as much as appeasement did.

02-25-2006, 06:24 PM
The whole appeasement thing strikes me as pure politics, the word caries with it all of the baggage of a world war, but maybe we should look at it the other way? Did we appease the Soviets by not attacking them in the aftermath of WWII, when their aims on Central Europe were obvious? That worked out ok. Did we appease North Korea at the end of that war? Could we have saved money and lives by appeasing the North Vietnamese?