The fringes on both sides of the political spectrum have created a vacuum. The Radical Middle must rise and create a new Common Ground and move our country forward. Reasonable, Sensible, Balanced. Outrage does none of us good. Let us stop screaming at each other and get to work!
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Paris Attacks; Opportunity, Pitfalls, & Solidarity
In the wake of the November 13th, 2015 Paris attacks, there is an outpouring of compassion, outrage, fear, confusion, and for the moment, solidarity. Many in America and throughout the western world are calling for an all out ground war. An all out war will not rid the world of ISIL/ISIS or terrorism. In fact, it would likely increase terrorism and recruitment for it.
Over reaction to these attacks is as big of a mistake as is under reaction.
Currently, the U.S. and her allies are attacking the problem with modest successes. Regional ground forces, like the Kurds in northern Iraq, are finally taking advantage of our coordinated air and limited ground support campaign. The recent successes are certainly overshadowed by the Paris attacks.
Invading countries again makes zero sense. Perhaps, some people want more American soldiers’ blood to be spilt and trillions of American dollars to be spent across this region yet again, but we simply don’t have the money to spend without specific, achievable, quantifiable goals. Arguably, the net gain from such actions would be negligible. The most probable outcome would be a massive loss in blood and treasure with only minor tactical victories, leaving strategic victories ambiguous and fleeting.
People who challenge these views should read the Art of War or take some courses in strategy or tactics, or read history. In war one always strive to not have the fight that your enemy wants to have with you. That's an imbecile's war; i.e. USSR in Afghanistan, USA in Vietnam & Iraq.
Sometimes, the longer view is much more preferable but much more difficult to picture in the aftermath of tragedy.
Drawing the enemy out can be as painful as it is tragic. However, it exposes them for what they are . . . terrorists hellbent on death and destruction. Denying them any high moral ground aids in denying them safe havens and allows natural hostile reactions to their terror to grow and persevere.
The worst action we could ever have would be to play the terrorists’ game. They want to suck us into a ground war that would result in endless warfare, bloodshed, and propaganda for their recruitment of more suicide bombers.
We're not governed, currently and thankfully, by those that are apt to fall for these traps. However, an attack against any of our NATO allies is an attack that we must respond to with strength, force, and solidarity.
Measuring our response in the most appropriate and effective way to not just this moment but in sync with our current and ongoing actions is vital in defeating ISIL/ISIS and violent extremism in the long term. Falling back on failed plans of the recent past would be a mistake as well.