Saturday, February 27, 2010

New National Security and Military Strategy

Paul E. Vallely

Why does the United States and its military/political leaders and strategists still languish in failed strategies from World War II to the present? Fact: Jihadists with small arms and IEDS in faraway places cannot harm the United States so there is no reason to order massive armies that require large and extensive bases and massive logistical support to fight them on their home turf. But that is the essence of failed "counterinsurgency" (COIN) strategies that have bewitched US military political leaders. Yes, we have made great and innovative technological
advances in weapons systems in the air, sea and ground, communications,
advanced intelligence systems and command and control systems. Yes, we have
operational war planners at all levels of command, senior policy and
politicos in the White House and Department of Defense, a National Security
Team and a multitude of military commands positioned around the globe to
guide and lead us in national security. But where are the common sense and
rational senior General and Admiral Strategists that we have trained and
schooled to be innovative, aggressive and win our nation's wars quickly and
decisively. I rarely hear any of them talking about the valued Principles of
War that successful combat leaders in the past have used to achieve success
and victory. They cannot even talk in terms of victory, winning and bringing
the troops home. Or maybe, they do not want to for politically correct
reasons at home.
Unfortunately, American leaders are increasingly trying to transform this
force into one optimized for counterinsurgency missions (when, in fact, we
are not, in my opinion, fighting insurgencies but a global Caliphate) and
conventional war followed on by long-term military occupations. Track back
if you will to Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq, and Afghanistan. It is true
that not all political goals are achievable through the use of military
power. However, "victory" in war is appears lost in the world of political
correctness and appeasement. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan - often
seen as proving the necessity for COIN-capable forces as well as a
commitment to nation-building - demonstrate in reality that the vast
majority of goals can be accomplished through quick, decisive joint military
operations. Not all political goals are achievable this way, but most are
and those that cannot be achieved through conventional operations likely
cannot be achieved by the application of even the most sophisticated
counterinsurgency doctrine either. We cannot seem to be able to discern
between the differences in conventional and non-conventional warfare. The
war against radical Islam forces and a sick ideology has been and will
continue to be one requiring unconventional solutions. This is a point that
the White and the Pentagon fear to call this war against a pronounced
ideology. It is not a war on terror as we first analyzed; it is a war
against an ideology and an ideology that has evil global intentions as much
as the Nazis and Third Reich.
Why can we not understand that our military is for national security,
defending our country and defeating our enemies before they bring havoc and
harm to our citizens. Why can we not understand how important our resources
are in terms of our trained Armed Forces and assets of our country and not
to drain them across the globe in futile nation building operations but to
leverage the military to counter threats to our country. And, as well, to
realize and understand in a profound way that you cannot Nation Build in an
area of conflict until the enemy is defeated. The COIN principle is not
based on winning; it is based on political whims and is not a true tenet of
warfare. Warfare is, and always should be, about WINNING. Once the war is
won, then, like Japan after WWII, real and substantive changes can be
enforced. We were able to change Germany and Japan from tyrannical forms of
government into thriving democracies with a real constitution and a real
change in thinking of the indigenous peoples.
A fundamental challenge in devising a strategy for the use of future
American military power is that the world has literally never seen anything
like our capability. The U.S. today has military capabilities at least equal
to the rest of the world combined. There is virtually no spot on the globe
that could not be targeted by American forces, and at most a small handful
of countries that could thwart a determined U.S. effort at regime change -
and some of those only by virtue of their possession of nuclear weapons.
This is the driving point; why are we so worried about what others think?
Did these so-called allies not have to be bailed out numerous times for
their failed thinking? Why do we want to kowtow to the same intellectual
vacuity that caused the greatest conflicts on earth?
As a consequence, the U.S. must adopt a national military strategy that
heavily leverages the core capability to break enemy states, target and
destroy and destroy the enemy's capability to bring harm to America. Such a
strategy could defeat and disrupt most potential threats the U.S. faces. I
will discuss in detail in later follow-up articles where the strategy of
joint strike operations and the unheralded "Global Lily Pad" strategy prove
to be the best method for success. While America's adversaries today may
prefer to engage the U.S. using proxies and develop radical Islamist
organizations and jihadists, there is no rationale in declaring to the
people of the United States that we are in a long war and accept that as a
reason to not achieve quick and decisive victory. It appears we fight more
in agreement with the so called the United Nations, allies and the likes of
China and Russia than to stand up for own sovereignty. It is time to
relegate these so-called allies to the sidelines. Let them wail and whimper
as we achieve the success that is necessary; wiping out and neutralizing
radical Islamism and nation states that support it...
Because our capability is so novel, American strategists lack a clear
framework to guide the utilization of this force. They have sought to match
capabilities to conceptions of the use of force from a different era, one in
which the Cold War made regime change unpalatable due to the risk of
escalation and that tended to make localized setbacks appear as loses in a
perceived zero-sum competition with the Soviets. Like Reagan, it is time to
call their bluff. They know we hold the big cards, so why are we so timid?
This only fosters eastern thought that placation is a sign of weakness. A
weakness they will turn into an asset and a political card to play to the
uneducated masses they control.
Phrasing it another way, insurgents with small arms and homemade explosives
(IEDS) in faraway places cannot harm the U.S. and there is no reason to
fight them directly. Based on superb intelligence, we can launch required
strike operations from any number of secure global sites and bases. True,
these radical Islamic forces pose a major terror threat abroad and at home
but we can defeat those efforts as well. The American experience in Iraq and
Afghanistan - where insurgents have been able to build and deploy more than
80,000 IEDs while under occupation - calls into question the ability of
occupying forces to root out terror networks without hitting the sources and
sanctuaries that supply them like Iran. Many describe our efforts as helping
to recruit more fighters and more ideologues. This is no way to stop the
threat to our homeland. The only true way to stop that threat is to give
them what they respect; pure force of arms and will. Otherwise, they sit in
their sanctuaries and count up the moral victories they have achieved, and
embolden future efforts. However, significant threats to the U.S., ranging
from the military capacity of regional powers to weapons of mass destruction
development programs to significant terrorist infrastructures, can be
targeted and destroyed by conventional and unconventional military
capabilities. Again, we must stop thinking like westerners, and understand
the way our enemy thinks. A lily pad is much more preferable because it
gives them no moral high ground to propagandize, but at the same time
instills sheer terror in their hearts as they guess at what is coming next.
Force of will and resolve is required by our leaders that our enemies
indeed respect and understand.
MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army Retired, is the Chairman of Stand Up America
and co-author of "Endgame " and "Operation Sucker Punch"

Paul E. Vallely
Chairman - Stand Up America US - Save Our Democracy

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