Friday, January 8, 2010

President Obama: We are at war

I am pleased to know that President Obama considers us to be at war. I am worried that he underestimates our enemy. His statement was that we are at war against Al-Qaeda. Once again, he is focused upon a single terrorist group, as if the other Islamic terrorist groups are not related in any way, making them unavailable for our attention. As anyone who reads this blogs knows, I believe that the war is much more widespread than just a few thousand ‘extremists’.

One of the complaints about the war in Vietnam was that we failed to hold ground. We would fight for a hill, and then leave a few days later. The enemy was left in possession of the ground that our men had died for. Conversely, the strategy in Iraq was that once we took something, we held it. This strategy worked far better. This reminds me of an incident in World War II: On March 2nd, 1945 the Allied Command ordered General George Patton to bypass the German city of Trier because it would take 4 divisions to take it. Patton replied that he had already taken it with two. "What do you want me to do? Give it back?" This is precisely what President Obama is going to do.

The United States took the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though fighting is still going on, President Obama is pulling out of Iraq as quickly as he can. He is launching attacks into Pakistan, but our forces will take no ground. He will deploy a few thousand more troops into Afghanistan, and then he will get us out of there as well. Everyone already knows this well before it occurs. I just do not see any point in losing any troops in this effort. Why not just leave now?

This is a losing strategy. A few years ago, my wife and I were listening to NPR while an expert on the Middle East was being interviewed. He was asked why had the U.S. not been hit again. It had been more than 5 years since 9/11. He said that he did not know. My wife (A Democrat) said "Duh! The war in Iraq! And this guy is an expert?" I guess she did listen to me a little.

"Kill the occupiers" is an important part of the ideology of our enemy. By our taking Iraq and Afghanistan, we forced our enemies to attack our military. Not a good match up for them. This was taking the strategic offensive and forcing our enemies to react to our moves. By our withdrawal from these two countries, we are assuming the strategic defensive. We cannot win this war by only good defense. President Obama is going to attempt to prove me wrong. I am guessing that we should all know who is correct before the end of his first term.

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