Sunday, May 13, 2007

Al Qaeda in Iraq

I've always dismissed the administration when they've said that "Iraq is now the central front in the war on terror", but now it appears that this may be the case, although not exactly in the way that the administration intended. It may now finally be clear that military force is in fact the worst way to fight the so-called "Global War On Terror" (GWOT.)

We are seeing a number of different "forces" come together in a clash in Iraq, political and cultural as well as armed, but essentially none of it has to do with acts of terror such as 9/11 and all of it has to do with power plays in the Middle East. So, if we seriously think that the intention of the "War on Terror" is to prevent follow-on 9/11 types of terror attacks, we are seriously mistaken. The sooner we disengage from our role as an antagonist in the Middle East, the better.

What Iraq does show us about al Qaeda is that they have a much bigger appetite for low-grade, ground-level infantry-style fighting and terror attacks than the calm, long-lead, careful planning, high operational security, disciplined types of attacks such as 9/11 or attacking commercial aircraft on a large scale or large-scale use of so-called "weapons of mass destruction."

The bottom line is that Iraq is in fact now acting as a "magnet" to attract most of the passionate terrorists and wannabe terrorists, making it far less likely that the overall effort of al Qaeda will be focused on 9/11-class attacks. The fact that the vast bulk of al Qaeda "action" is and will be ground operations in Iraq will result in the leadership of al Qaeda being focused on that type of operation. With even their leaders being focused on the instant gratification of ground attacks in Iraq, there will be little patience for the discipline needed for 9/11-class attacks.

Al Qaeda appears to be well along in morphing into being exclusively an army of foot soldiers.

In fact, efforts by the U.S. to publicly assert that al Qaeda is still intent on pursuing 9/11-class attacks can only embolden al Qaeda to continue such efforts that they might have abandoned by now if the U.S. were not so insistent on "propping up" a sagging al Qaeda interest in such attacks.

The alleged airline plot in Britain appears not to have been a central al Qaeda operation, and may in fact be a perfect example of how the public talk by the Neoconservatives and their pawns may actually be inciting attacks against the U.S. and its allies. In other words, the chatter by the Neoconservatives is tantamount to whispering "here's what you should try to do" into the ears of wannabe terrorists who otherwise wouldn't have had the imagination to envision the types of attacks that the Neoconservatives are publiclly chattering about. KSM and crew were an exception, not the rule, but they are now out of business. There is no benefit to anyone except the Neoconservatives and other members of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby of continuing to talk up a diminishing opponent.

Luckily for Britain, Tony Blair will be stepping down next month, so there will be far less of a "need" for terrorists to target Britain. And luckily for the U.S., the loss of the presidency to the Democrats in 2008 will eliminate the Neoconservative incitement. Iraq will continue to be a "magnet" for al Qaeda, but that means that a Democratic administration will be able to downgrade the whole GWOT and abandon inciteful rhetoric in favor of peaceful overtures and diplomacy in the Middle East. The abandonment of the Neoconservative and Bush "Crusade" will begin to sap at least some of the enthusiasm for "joining" al Qaeda.

Exactly how al Qaeda in Iraq will evolve remains to be seen. Maybe al Qaeda will simply continue to fight until gradually their passion for fighting dissipates, and maybe they will morph again into more of a political and social force than a revolutionary military force. In any case, it is best for U.S. military forces to simply get out of Iraq as soon as possible. Even if U.S. forces can calm the insurgency, al Qaeda is another story, and cannot be quelled with merely a troop "surge." Al Qaeda is far less a military problem than a social and political problem.

-- Jack Krupansky


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home