Long War

This terminology is more accurate, it rhymes with the Cold War. It even has its own wall like the Berlin Wall, and that would be the Israeli Wall. There are going to be many facets to this war.
  • Ultimately it is about peace and democracy.
  • This war will only end after every country in the Arab world has become a democracy.
  • There is a clear military aspect to it. The Al Qaeda is well and alive. And it intends hurt, physical hurt. But this is not a traditional army. They are more like guerrillas than soldiers and have to be similarly fought. You can not really reason with them. You can only defeat them. And human intel might be the missing link in the US defense apparatus. Satellites just will not do.
  • But the primary challenge is not military.
  • Spreading democracy the progressive way, the non violent way has got to be at the center of all efforts. Instead of demonizing the Arabs in the west, it behooves to see them as the frontline soldiers for democracy for their respective home countries.
  • It is not just about spreading democracy in the Arab world. It is equally about expanding democracy in Europe and America to make the west more inclusive than it has been.
World War II, Cold War and now the Long War. Each have had clear military components in the lead. This Long War might give an opportunity to instead master a war with communications technology. Because if you don't, you are practically gearing for a hot war with China. I would think that is a total no no. It is America's blessing or curse - depends on how you look at it - that the oldest democracy will have to take the lead on spreading democracy across the planet. And it just might learn to do it the peaceful way.

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7 Video Clips: Reinvent The Democratic Party
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Race, Gender, Progressive, Conservative Divides
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Dick Cheney, Nelson Mandela, Howard Dean
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Bloomberg: No Mr. Security

The Democratic Party has not yet come around to seeing this war as being of the same magnitude as the Cold War. Heck, even the country at large is only grappling with it. And the anti war wing of the party has not really channelled all that energy into the idea of spreading democracy the progressive way.

The Republican party's mistake is that it overemphasizes the military aspect of the conflict, has failed to restructure the army to better face a non traditional enemy, and has been otherwise poor in terms of executing the decisions it has taken. You could call it sheer incompetence. The Democratic party's mistake is it is not cashing sufficiently on its strength of the tools of grassroots democracy. The anti war wing sounds isolationist. That will not carry the day.

On The Web

"Who Won the Cold War?" by Arnold Beichman
The Claremont Institute: Balancing Act: How We Won the Cold War
Townhall.com :: Columns :: Would Kerry have won the Cold War? by ...

In The News

Is US 'Long War' to replace war on terror? Sify, India
'Long war' is breaking down into tedium
Chicago Sun-Times, United States
Pentagon: Washington faces ‘long war
The Militant, NY
A Leaner, Meaner Military Washington Post Ending the practice of heedlessly moving individual soldiers in and out of units ..... Army has shifted from 11 unwieldy World War II-type divisions to 77 rapidly deployable brigades designed for modern war. ........ The mistake in Iraq was not keeping the Iraqi regular army intact to assume the responsibility of policing in June 2003. ....... a period of dramatic change in which the United States has been simultaneously fighting a global war against Islamic extremists, conducting campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, making preparations to preempt North Korea and Iran if necessary, undertaking strategies to contain China over the next two decades, dramatically changing the structure and rhythm of the Army
A Defense Budget Strategy for Winning the Long War Heritage.org, DC
War on Terror Now the 'Long War'
Epoch Times, NY
Reflections on 'the long war' and the resolve required to win it
Town Hall, DC
The psychology of The Long War
Vermont Guardian, VT
Al-Qaeda's Insurgency Doctrine: Aiming for a "Long War"
Global Terrorism Analysis, DC America and the West have not sufficiently appreciated that al-Qaeda, too, is fighting the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan according to a doctrine of its own .... lessons they have learned from Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Mao, General Giap, and even Ahmed Shah Masood, as well from the training manuals of the U.S. and UK Marines and Special Forces ...... al-Qaeda strategists have discussed all of these matters for years in their Internet journals, but this discussion has garnered little interest in Western essays...... writings discuss the need to conduct the political and military facets of an insurgency in tandem ...... the success al-Qaeda is having in using its doctrine against U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, a success that has prompted U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to rename the Global War on Terror as the "Long War" and to publicly lament that al-Qaeda is beating the U.S. in the political war being fought in the media........ the "First Axis of Jihad," the axis that requires complete victory over the infidels, a goal that "is not subject to discussion" and which permits "no half-solutions" and "no-bargaining." ...... striving for well-planned actions emanating from a position of collective activity ...... jihad military doctrine is constantly changing, thus denying America the chance to know it well or train its troops on how to confront it decisively and permanently ......... a fundamental working knowledge of planning, administration, security, psychology, sociology, history, geography, politics, strategy, law, education, preaching, and military science, not to mention religious knowledge ...... Islamist forces must be prepared to fight a "long war of attrition," a struggle in which "the enemy of God will feel that it is impossible to finish off the mujahideen's military power." ....... database on each target, as well as every change in enemy movements in all regions ....... "the 1,000-wound" policy of guerrilla war with the goal of prolonging the war to "exhaust" the enemies' patience and resources, and to avoid set-piece battles and attacks on "hardened targets" that would be too costly in terms of mujahideen casualties ...... The Americans love "fixed bases," al-Qurashi argued, and even in the field their combat forces are awkward, with troops who are "highly paid and overloaded with comfort facilities that often restrict their movements."......... American bases are "known and immovable," while those of the mujahideen are "light and movable." ....... the essential interconnectedness of the military and media dimensions of insurgency. ...... "jihad eats up enormous funds" and those funds are "the nerves of the jihad." ...... The insurgency doctrine used by al-Qaeda has been evolving for more than a quarter-century, and is designed to defeat conventional Western military forces. It calls for the group's fighters to be able to fight in the mountains, in desert regions, in maritime conditions, and to be able conduct what Muqrin refers to as "covert action" in urban areas. These multifaceted military operations must be matched by the mujahideen "excelling in their organized media action."
Winning the long war Enter Stage Right, Canada
General Explains Why Iraq is the 'Long War'
Human Events


5 March16:00Le Groupe Videotron, Canada
5 March17:15Hawaiian Telcom Services Company, Inc., United States
5 March20:10Alaska Communications Systems Inc., United States
Busiest day so far5 March 2006

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Edward said…
I think that's a very perceptive analysis I'd probably buy.