This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Winning the War Against Terrorism

Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown and advisor to West Point presents an excellent synopsis of why our current strategy against terrorism is doomed to failure and must evolve. I heartily agree.

From the stated goals of al Queda's leadership, we can see exactly what they are fighting for - legitimacy to establish a Caliphate to rule Islam and expand it to the religion of the entire world. Terror is their tactic, not their cause. To defeat them, the solution becomes obvious - although difficult to do since it demands great subtlety: support someone besides bin Laden in establishing a Caliphate. We need not do this actively. Rather, we simply withdraw our support from those who would seek a separate power base, such as the Saudis. Our support for Israel must also be tempered by this change in strategy. If we assist in the destablilization of all of its foes, no Caliph can arise from among them.

Readers of this blog or the associated book will not be surprised by who I suggest - His Majesty, King Abdullah, the legitimate heir of the Prophet. Helping him consolidate power and moral authority in the Arab and larger Muslim world robs bin Laden of his power base and any hope of legitimacy, provided that His Majesty is not seen as an American puppet. For this reason, it must appear that the Jordanian (and legitimate Syrian) monarch is displacing us in Iraq. In essence, victory in Iraq would be winning the battle and losing the war. If we were to leave with our tail between our legs while some coalition led by Abdullah took over and set things right, it would go a long way in winning the war on terror (which we can only win by seeming to lose).

The other aspect of this loss that we must undertake to be safe is to abandon our kingship over our allies. The fact that the Supreme Commander of NATO must be an American answering to our President sticks in more than bin Laden's craw. On this fiftieth anniversary of the European Union, it is apt to ask why we are still involved in its military affairs, especially as the first among equals. We must either join the EU or have it join us, so much so that us does not look like it once did. The only other option is to withdraw from NATO and lessen or end our projection of power on the world stage, at least its unilateral nature. Our expeditionary forces must either be under more than American control or withdrawn or we will remain, somewhat justifiably, a target. Personally, I believe that an allied government better serves the world's interests than our withdrawl from the world stage, but either is preferrable to the current situation we live in now.


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