Presence of U.S. and Western Troops Underpins Survival of Afghans

By Con George-Kotzabasis A short reply to an American Liberal

The better question is, in my opinion, how many Afghans want the U.S. out and how many of them want the Taliban back in? That is where the “real argument’ lies. The fact is that there is a substantial number of Afghans that can only survive by the presence of U.S. and Western troops at this particular political and military juncture of the country.

To consider that this “flexing of its muscles” by the United States is for “empire” and not an ‘aggressive’ pre-emptive attack against an irreconcilable deadly foe is to be stuck in the rut of conventional leftist unimaginative thinking.

The Iraq Surge was not only quantitative but also qualitative. It was completely a new strategy that used the means of war imaginatively and remorselessly against the insurgents as well as baiting the latter with monetary incentives to switch sides or disarm. In war one has to use all means at one’s disposal creatively to subdue an enemy. In the toppling of the Taliban on November 2001, the CIA saturated the Northern Alliance with caches of money, military equipment, and intelligence that defeated the Taliban within forty days without any American troops fighting on the ground.

THE POVERTY OF WESTERN STRATEGIES IN THE AGE OF GODLY INSPIRED TERROR

In the beginning was the deed… ‘war’. As strife is the fate and glory of mankind, to paraphrase the illustrious philosopher Heraclitus

The following text, written on July 3, 2007, is a slightly modified reply To Colonel Dr. David Kilcullen, the Australian advisor to General David Petraeus commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, on his paper New Paradigms for 21st Century Conflict, published on June 23, 2007 in Small Wars Journal blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

 

In the sad “roll call” of the heavy casualties that your brave soldiers are sustaining as a result of the initial mistakes of the occupation, your paper is most encouraging and sanguine with its fecund and rich crop of ideas and its attempt to “split the atom” of the conduct of war in the age of godly inspired global borderless anarchic terror. As you correctly point out, all the paradigms of past wars, in an era when one is fighting a shadowy not easily identified enemy clad in civilian clothes and not less frequently in women’s, with a deadly belt around their bi-gender midriffs, and whose mode of warfare is not to fight its foes openly and directly but stealthily, are completely obsolete. This is why the “ancien regime” of war paradigms must be overthrown, since the line of their success has reached the end of its tether.

The   new regime of paradigms must have as constituent parts the art of diplomacy, political virtuosity, and military might. But its parts will not have equal value. The enemy we are engaged with is not a rational enemy, but an irrational one of whose fighting fervor and suicidal attacks emanate from his perceived special relationship with his God. Hence, he is not prone to listen to the calls of “earthly” reason, since he only listens to the calls of an “afterlife”. He cannot be pacified by diplomatic and political concessions or by economic rewards, and he will accept the latter only as a respite that will enable him to build his forces for future attacks. Nor will he be “contained” in his aggressive actions by the threat of overwhelming military force, and indeed, not even by nuclear deterrence, as a rational actor would. In such a conflict, diplomacy and politics will play an auxiliary part to the primary and vital part of the military. And in this “unholy” trinity, it will be the military that will be calling the shots. If in past, more transcendental philosophical times, the goal was for philosopher-kings to rule, in our, more down to earth and dangerous times, it will be soldier-savants in the major part that will determine the strategies and the course of war.  Political elites will have the important quest and duty of (a) bringing together a notable alliance of nations against the jihadists and the states that support them, (b) supplying their military the material and spiritual wherewithal to wage war, and in the case of America, the Commander-In-Chief by exercising his constitutional right wisely in his selection and appointment of the best commanders on the ground render to them the freedom  and the discretion to use the appropriate methods and armaments, that will defeat the enemy, as it’s the vocation of soldiers to wage and win wars not the politicians, and (c) along with the media, will have the historical responsibility to unify their people behind the great and Herculean task of their armed forces.

The primary and pivotal role that the military will have in this conflict rises from the nature and characteristics of this, unarguably, long war. First, the latter is not only global but also borderless. Strategically, it’s the ultimate absurdity when the terrorists or insurgents can find safe haven by crossing the borders of the country where they are waging war, that the nations that are engaged in war with them should continue to respect the national sovereignty of nations that allow their enemies to enter and use their own territories as safety zones and conduits of military supplies. (The strategic mistakes of the Vietnam War and the Cambodian sanctuary must not be repeated.) Those who are fighting them must pursue them over the border and destroy them. If international armed outlaws can cross the borders of sovereign nations then the lawful nations who are trying to apprehend them and punish them, have every right to cross these borders too. And the commanders on the ground will decide when to do so on the spot and expeditiously without being obstructed by the dilatoriness of political and legal deliberations. The nations that ostensibly are against terror, must sign a covenant with those nations whose armed forces are engaged in war against it, that they will allow these forces to cross their borders whenever their commanders on the ground consider this to be necessary.

Secondly, because of the simplicity in launching their lethal attacks-it takes only a “girdle” to spread havoc-this is an anarchic terror with no central command to plan its attacks. Every ordinary humdrum fanatic can find few brothers in their desire to pursue the seventy-two virgins. The Islamist fanatics like bin Laden and Zawahiri are not leaders in control of their forces, but sorcerer’s apprentices who have released the genii of terror without being able to control its actions that politically and strategically would have maximum impact. This is illustrated by many examples, the latest ones are Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, and the terrorist group in Palestine who hold the British correspondent and who refuse to obey the orders of Hamas. And, indeed, this anarchic element of terror could be its Achilles’ heel. As strategically commanders who lose control of their troops are bound in the end to lose the war.

Of course, as you correctly point out, their leaders will use even these random actions of the terrorists in their propaganda to influence people in the West. And it might be true that their propaganda is on the winning side, but this not due to their cleverness but to the fact of the openness and transparency of democratic societies of whose political, media, and public response is so predictable. This multi-celled terror whose cells are spread in many parts of the world, both in Muslim countries and in the Muslim diaspora that has flooded the West, can only be dealt effectively by military and special forces led by their commanders on the ground improvising the best tactical responses and techniques that will cower and destroy this cellular body of terror. It’s therefore the nature and the long duration of this war that makes the paramountcy of the military the sine qua non for the defeat of this global menace.

THE BOOMERANG OF TERROR  

Moreover, psychologically and strategically, it’s of the utmost necessity to transplant the fear of terror into the hearts of the terrorists themselves. As only this boomerang of terror can defeat terror. This can be accomplished, as I had suggested six years ago (This proposal was sent to the Whitehouse on November, 2001), by setting up a covert global operational plan that will enlist the best active and non-active soldiers from an international pool and deploy them as hit squads. This clandestine group of transnational condottieri will aim at the elimination of the jihadist leaders as well as the religious radical preachers, wherever they happen to reside in the East or in the West. In my opinion it’s a stupendous folly while your soldiers are fighting the insurgents and terrorists in the foreground of battle to allow your “rear” to be inundated by a proliferation of fanatic recruits that are sired in rabbit numbers in the background of the Mosques and the madrassas which continue to supply the ranks of the terrorists with new recruits in greater numbers than you can eliminate them. The unanswerable as yet question is whether the leaders of Western civilization will have the mettle and sagacity to use uncivilized methods and means to defeat this barbaric horde, whose eschatological goal is to put an end to civilized life. One must be “brutally unsentimental’ as to the use of the instruments of war, to quote Roy Jenkins from his magisterial biography of  Winston Churchill, as the latter  was in the use of poison gas in the First World War.

Finally, your concept of  “anthropology”, that sheds like a beacon its light upon the turbulent sea of terror, searching not only for the causes of this turbulence but also for the social, civil, and political unrest and repercussions upon people who breathe this terror day and night, and how the counterinsurgency should address them, is most interesting. And it’s cheering and heartening to see that your new tactics to clear and hold and isolate the insurgents from the civilian population show some positive signs in the al Anbar province. I would only couple it with its other half “anthropotheology”, since this martyr’s terror is mainly fuelled with the fire of Allahu Akbar.

I also agree entirely with our confrere in this discussion, Hawkwood.

Well done, Dr. Kilcullen

Delenda est Carthago                          

American Liberal Considers that Obama will be a Strong President

The following was written prior to Obama’s election as president.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Sweetness, you bring up many points and allow me to deal with some of them. First, let us assume you are right that on the issue of Obama saying ‘present’ at Congress sessions was strategy not indecision. But what about his savvy political decision to have Hillary as Vice President that was vetoed by Michelle who hated her and Obama caving before his wife’s decision? You will say this is rumour. But let us see if this rumour can be verified by some facts. The worse mummy’s boy is the one without a mother. Obama was abandoned by both his parents when he was a little boy and was brought up by his grandparents. All his life he was searching for his lost father whom he finally found in his pastor Jeremiah, and more importantly, for his runaway mother whom he found when he married strong Michelle. (And that is probably the reason why he never abandoned her, like so many other African-Americans do with their wives.) It is Michelle that is wearing both pair of pants: Her own and her husband’s.

Secondly, on the war, his decision to oppose the war was not based on wisdom but on ignorance and anti-war populism.  Ignorant of the content of the briefings as a junior Senator that other Democrat Senators more senior became aware of and for that reason supported the impending war. On the issue of the Surge and Woodward’s assessment, the Surge was part of a new strategy under General Petraeus linked to the ‘groundbreaking new covert techniques…’ that were primary in defeating the insurgency, according to Woodward. And the Surge may have facilitated these new techniques to achieve their goal. Further Obama only six months ago had pledged to the American people that he would withdraw the troops from Iraq. And he would do this while the bravery and professionalism of the US army were winning the war in Iraq. Thus depriving the soldiers their glorious victory and, most dangerous of all, conceding to their enemies that the U.S. was defeated in the war in Iraq, as that would be the logical conclusion of Obama’s withdrawal. Surely, as a reasonable person, you would not consider these decisions of Obama arising from his strength of character.

Thirdly, what I meant to say was that Obama by ‘cutting his sails to the winds of populism’ went along with the uninformed masses who had made their decision on the issue of the war not by the power of their brain but by the beats of their heart, and it was on those “beats” that Obama also positioned himself on the same issue. Unlike McCain who supported the Surge at the peak of the unpopularity of the war. This shows clearly which of the two leaders is endowed with a strong character.

Euthanasia of the Presidency under Obama

By Con George-Kotzabasis

President Obama is placing the vibrant presidency of the most powerful nation in the world in the hands of the practitioners of euthanasia as if America were in the agony of its death throes. Cynical about America’s global political and military power; cynical about its ability to win the war against its deadly and irreconcilable enemy; cynical about its peoples’ steadfastness and determination to wage war against the fanatical hordes of Islam that threaten America’s heartland; cynical of its European allies’ resolution–under indomitable and sagacious US leadership–to fight the same war; and cynical of the capacity of the best professionally trained armed forces in the world, i.e., the American, to defeat an impromptu organized group of terrorists, who bereft of cool strategic nous in comparison to its ‘infidel’ opponents, are impulsively fighting the Great Satan and all the other little Satans of  the West  with the fanatical cry of Allahu Akbar,  President Obama has chosen, due to this inveterate cynicism and to his guileful and odious politics as we shall  see further down, most imprudently strategically and politically and sans amour propre to retreat from the battlefield, with macabre geopolitical consequences for America’s prestige as a superpower, and take cover behind a no longer fortress America.

As we predicted early in 2009, during the long gestation of the president’s ‘new strategy’ for Afghanistan which under the pretence of giving serious consideration to the request of his senior commander in Afghanistan General McChrystal to increase the troops by 40,000, he dithered his decision not however for the purpose of how to win the war but for the purpose of weighing the political costs that would accrue to him if he had accepted the advice of his general. And when finally he made his decision, he increased the troops by 30,000 while handing to his National Security team a memo setting the strict terms that this increase included the July 2011 start date for a US troop withdrawal. Hence, Obama as Commander-in-Chief, whilst his brave soldiers and astute generals were spilling their blood in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan fighting the Taliban with the aim of defeating them, all he was thinking about were the political costs that would bear upon him as a result of his apparent greater involvement in the unpopular war. So Obama’s ‘serious’ and long deliberations before he made his decision had nothing to do with a new strategy, emanating from his status as Commander-in-Chief, to defeat the Taliban but had everything to do with his status as political shyster who was only concerned about his polls.

The increase of troops by 30,000 was strategically meaningless as it had not the aim of defeating the enemy since it merely served Obama’s political rationale of not seeming to be weak on war while at the same time placating the anti-war crowd by announcing the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan. What strategist of any substance would increase his forces in the field of battle only to withdraw them without inflicting upon his enemy a mortal blow? And what kind of leader would place an increased number of his soldiers in danger and continue a war that he thinks is unwinnable when his main purpose was to withdraw them from such war, why would he have increased them in the first place if he was planning to withdraw them if not for his concealed ill-design to dupe the American people, to present himself as both a war president and a peaceful one? In reality of course, Obama is neither of these but a political Shylock who demands his pound of flesh from his troops fighting in Afghanistan in order to play his despicable politics at home so he can placate both those Americans who support the war and those who are against it.

From Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Charles Martel, to Napoleon all strategies had a clear and unique goal, to defeat the foe. Only President Obama, who as the most repulsive of political manipulators is wantonly sacrificing the interests of the nation to his own narrow political interests, is disgracefully and timorously traducing this irreversible principle of war and turning himself into a cartoonist mockery as Commander-in-Chief of a great nation.

Afghanistan during Obama’s political campaign was a “war of necessity” that was neglected by President Bush and a war that must be won. But according to Bob Woodward’s new book titled Obama’s Wars, this is no longer so. Obama is quoted as saying, “This needs to be a plan about how we are going to handed it off and get out of Afghanistan.” And the outcome of the policy review and its long deliberations was the offspring of “political considerations,” according to a State Department official. Obama himself reportedly said to Senator Lindsey Graham, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party” on the issue of Afghanistan. General Petraeus felt so affronted by White House demands for an exit strategy at all costs that he told his aids, “They are f…king with the wrong guy.” Another senior general said that the announcement of the withdrawal by President Obama, gave “sustenance to the Taliban.” Moreover, the policy review has engendered serious divisions within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Council, and the Defense Department and between American and Afghan officials. Jim Jones, the National Security adviser, calls the ‘bosom’ advisers of Obama, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel variously as the “mafia” the “campaign set” and the “politburo.” And General Petraeus has dubbed Axelrod as the spin artist in residence, and I would add the spin-master who can win elections and lose wars. 

These revelations of Bob Woodward are toxic to Obama’s presidency and threaten to unleash a spate of resignations of top echelons of the Administration. In short, the presidency at this critical moment of national security and war is in a state of disarray. And no matter how he is going to re-arrange the musical chairs of his sinking presidency after losing the better performers, the future ones that will occupy them will be the worst performers that he could get. No one of sterling qualities, of the best and the brightest, will have an inkling to join an intellectually, politically, morally, and strategically bankrupt administration and be branded everlastingly with such an ignominiously failed presidency. Obama by debasing the political currency of a great nation will become the victim of Gresham’s Law. The bad and base currency of circulating officials that will bid for the positions of the Administration will drive the good and golden currency of officials out of circulation for these posts. Hence Obama’s future administration will be filled by political parvenus, professional opportunists, and Cagliostro like political impostors and all ‘playing their tunes’ under the conductors of spin. Such an outcome will seriously undermine America’s prestige and éclat as a superpower. It will momentously endanger the vital interests of the nation and its security by enticing its mortal enemies to attack it, as they see that the rudder of America in the rough seas of the world is in the hands of an incompetent and weak president. The question is whether Americans will allow this to happen and whether they will have the intelligence and courage to use all means to stop it and put an end to Obama’s Directorate of social democracy and to stop at the eleventh hour the euthanasia of the presidency.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

Taliban Might Just Be Defeated by US and its Allies

By Con GeorgeKotzabasis

For those who can think out of the mould there are signs that the Americans might just win the war in Afghanistan. The fact that a large part of the Taliban are prepared and are negotiating with the Karzai government, with the apparent consensus of General Petraeus, is indicative that the Taliban are undergoing unsustainable loses, especially in their leadership, in their confrontation with the allied forces. Moreover, that these negotiations are taking place with the full knowledge by the Taliban of Obama’s commitment to withdraw all American fighting forces from Afghanistan by July 2011 shows clearly that the Taliban are debilitated militarily and are therefore forced to enter negotiations with their enemy from a position of weakness. Otherwise if their strength was still intact why shouldn’t they wait the US withdrawal and hence their chance to topple the Karzai regime and take over the country?

General McChrystal and Obama’s Contradictory Strategy

By Con George-Kotzabasis 

Drew, you seem to place formality above entelechy, the vital element of war. Throughout history an ethic, no matter how laudable and worthy, in critical circumstances is degraded to a lower status if it is not made totally inutile. Winning the war is the primal goal and that can only be achieved by professionals, not by ‘drone’ like Bidens. You also seem to forget, that it was precisely this unconditional devotion to “conditional civilian control” that lost the war in Vietnam. My position is, so you won’t misunderstand me, certainly a general has to abide the commands of the executive branch, but no general worth his salt who has the ultimate responsibility of deploying his troops to win a war, a responsibility that has been given to him by his Commander-in-Chief, is obliged to execute commands that are contradictory in winning the war without expressing his deep concerns critically about the incongruence of the war plan that was designed by the Executive. One cannot increase the Surge by thirty thousand more troops and at the same time announce a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in two years time. This is the fundamental contradiction of Obama’s doltish strategy in Afghanistan. No one but a modern Tiresias could predict that the war against the Taliban would be won in two years or that the Karzai forces would be able to handle the insurgency by their own steam. Obama set the scene for a strategy that for the next two years American blood and valuable resources would be spend not for the goal of victory, but for the purpose of a withdrawal. This is the quintessence of McChrystal’s criticism of the Obama administration although he did not explicitly express it in these words.

Moreover, McChrystal could no more “undermine the executive branch” that was already undermined by itself. Also your accusation of McChrystal of being incompetent and of losing the respect of his troops by commanding them to patrol without cartridges in their guns, except maybe in some rare circumstances, is incredulous and is closer to phantasy than reality. McChrystal and Petraeus were the sagacious heroic victors of the war in Iraq. That one of the architects of this unprecedented victory, that even the wise Kissinger considered it to be unattainable, would lose the respect of his soldiers is pure phantasy. Further, that a most competent commander of the elite Special Forces, a “killing machine,” would put his soldiers at risk is beyond belief. I am curious to know the evidence from which you deduced this transformation of a deadly ‘seal’, who all his life has been trained for the tasks of the infernal world, into an unarmed Gandhian votary.

Political Tyros Tasteless Cooking in Foreign Affairs

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

Richard Vague: Throwing More Troops at Afghanistan WRONG Move

By Steve Clemons Washington Note December 23, 2008

 

Richard Vague is another recruit in the league of political tyros led by Clemons. America is at war with an irreconcilable implacable enemy. In any war, especially in this one, there are no soft options. And those who suggest “retreats” and “withdrawals” prematurely from Iraq and Afghanistan are soft brained and they should never have delved in the complexity and hard tasks of war.

‘Vague was “very discouraged to hear…that the United States plans to send up to 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan next year’, says Clemons. Vague states that although “Obama said in his campaign that he would escalate in Afghanistan…I had hoped he was saying that as a way to deflect questions regarding Iraq without appearing soft, and when the time came he would exit  Iraq but resist escalating in Afghanistan.” Clemons says that Vague told him “there are a whole lot of cooks in the foreign-policy kitchen these days.”   

Looking at Vague’s photo, it’s obvious that he spends a lot of time in his own “kitchen” as a good cook in the culinary art but he would have made a very bad cook in the art of foreign policy. Clemons considers Vague to be ‘a giant in the U.S. credit card business’.
 
 

 

To each his own.

 

No Half Measures: Plan to Win the War in Afghanistan

By Con George-Kotzabasis

 

Unlike the evolution of species from an imperfect state to a more advanced one, the evolution of war, as a result of the huge increase in the fire-power of armaments and lethal military techniques, in reverse is a development for the worst. Throughout history the lessons of military confrontations have pellucidly shown that when a state decides to don the panoply of war against irreconcilable and implacable enemies it’s by the worst means and methods that one can defeat such foes. The military forces and the armaments that a state has at its disposal have to be used disproportionately and relentlessly against the “strength” of its enemy and defeat the latter by nipping him in-the-bud and hence preventing him from becoming stronger. In the few instances when force was not used disproportionally against a “budding” foe–an exemplary late demonstration of this was the Vietnam War when U.S. strategists instead of using a force de frappe against the Vietcong and destroying them while they were still weak they used the fallacious strategy of escalation to their doom—the war, if it was won, was waged at an astronomical cost in military personnel and materiel as well as at an enormous number of civilian casualties and refugees.

 

It’s for this reason that a compellingly victorious strategy against the Taliban dictates that the US and its NATO allies deployed in Afghanistan must use their powerful armaments up to the hilt as well as all the techniques of covert and clandestine operations of their Special Forces. The only powerful armaments they should keep in reserve are tactical nuclear weapons, which would only be used as a last resort, if conventional weapons are found to be wanting in destroying a fanatical unyielding enemy who considers himself of implementing the agenda of God.

 

Moreover, since the contour of the  war against the Taliban is not separated by Maginot lines and is by its nature a borderless war which the enemy by crossing the border of a neighbourly country uses it as a safe haven and replenishment ground for its forces, it would be doltishly foolish and strategically illogical and contradictory for the US forces and its allies to stop the chase of the Taliban at the border, in our case,  of Pakistan, all in the name of respecting the national sovereignty of the latter when the Taliban already flagrantly and brazenly violated.  In such war it would be the ultimate inanity and an abiding tragedy for one party in a deadly conflict to “piously” abide to international conventions and treaties while the opposing party “sacrilegiously” violates. It would be like Don Quixote fighting Genghis Khan.  And an abiding tragedy as an outcome of an unnecessarily prolonged war which so voraciously feeds itself on civilian casualties from the fact that the Taliban and al-Qaeda uses civilians, and indeed, relatives and their own families, as human shields. When the war could potentially have been shortened and the tragic circumstances of its people involved as bystanders in an unwanted war could have ended, if the US military combined with its Pakistani counterpart could attack and destroy the Taliban and al-Qaeda in their safe havens and replenishing and recruiting grounds.

 

US strategists are of course aware that to allow “Cambodian Sanctuaries” on the soil of Pakistan for al-Qaeda and the Taliban would be militarily the penultimate foolishness. And the ultimate foolishness would be not to destroy these sanctuaries either by overt or covert operations. Fortunately we have already seen that the Americans are desisting from making the strategic mistakes of Vietnam and a shift in their strategy as pilotless drones and Special Forces units are bombing, and making incursions into, Pakistan in search and destroy operations against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. 

 

Inevitably, this has engendered nationalistic anger and ire among sections of the Pakistan government and many of its people against the incursion of US forces in their country which they consider to be a violation of the sovereignty of their nation. One however can argue that this “violation” on the part of the US would not have occurred if the primary violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty had not already being perpetrated by al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Further, the inability of Pakistan, either due to a political unwillingness or military incapacity, to stop these initial violators of its sovereignty made it perforce a task for its allies against terror, i.e., the Americans to perform. The leadership in Islamabad must be reminded of these facts and their inevitable flow into a “strategic dam’ that first, will stem the current of the Taliban into Pakistan in violation of its borders, and secondly, will lead to the defeat of its enemies by depriving the latter their sanctuaries, thus achieving the goal of the Pakistan-American alliance against terror. Further allies in a war cannot logically violate each other’s sovereignty as their mutual aim is to destroy their enemy wherever the latter deploys his forces. And this is exactly what the Americans are doing by chasing the Taliban across the border of Afghanistan.  

 

Once the Taliban and al-Qaeda are deprived of their sanctuary in Pakistan and the Americans and their allies block this strategically deadly exit-and-entry of their enemy from and into the soil of Afghanistan that will ease the defeat of the Taliban and their sundry jihadists. And the beheading of the latter will be executed mainly by the Afghans themselves if the American strategists and their allies adopt the following strategy that is to be formulated below.

 

To Clausewitz, the master in matters of war the following was axiomatic: That the success of a war depends on the unison of the natural resources of a nation with the existence of its people. It’s this coupling that engenders the determination of a people to protect this vital natural wealth of a country from being appropriated by their enemies. In Afghanistan opium is the primary natural resource of the country. Ninety-three percent of opiates on the world market originate in Afghanistan at a value of $4 billion. It’s well known that the drug industry has major linkages with local administration as well as high levels of the national government. Also, the Taliban controls substantial parts of its production with which it funds its war against the Karzai government and its American, Australian and European allies.

 

It’s imperative therefore that the Afghanistan government turns off the faucet of opium and dry up the thirst of the Taliban to continue the war. More importantly, to use opium as a strategic weapon that will deal the Taliban a coup d’eclat from which it will never recover. To accomplish the complete defeat of the Taliban the Karzai government should as soon as it’s possible nationalize the production of opium and promptly make the tribal chiefs of Afghanistan equity holders of the national consortium of opium production. As the tribal chiefs have been for aeons the shepherds of their people the profits that will be allocated to them will spread among their tribes. Hence every Afghan will have a vested interest to protect this economic benefit from being stolen by the Taliban bandits or any foreigners. Further it will enhance the status of the tribal chiefs among their people and solidify their political and social power which has been for years their goal.

 

Hence with this stratagem the central government in Kabul will mobilize all Afghans through their tribal elders in a war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda that will lead to the total defeat of the latter. And it will build the foundations of a federal democratic structure in Afghanistan without impinging on the historically proud status of the tribal leaders’ independence that has been for hundreds of years the apple of discord and has fomented internecine warfare between the tribes. It’s for the Americans and their allies to persuade the Karzai government to nationalize the production of opium and turn it into the utmost political and military weapon that will decisively decimate the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

 

Hic Rhodus hic Salta   

 

THE WAR CANNOT BE WON IF ITS COMMANDERS ARE HOSTAGES TO POLITICS

Dear readers of the Global Journal 

 I’m republishing this proposal sent to President Bush as Washington politicians were  attempting in the mid stages of the Surge to micro-manage the war.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following was written on April 11, 2004 and was sent to President Bush on the same date. It’s republished now, as the Bush administration is forging a new strategy for Iraq that hopefully will be victorious against the murderous insurgents.

Dear Mr. President,

The present armed insurgency, threatening to become a general insurgency against your forces in Iraq, unless its momentum is promptly nipped in the bud, of Shiites and Sunnis against the Coalition, threatens to put off balance your whole strategic project for Iraq and the Middle East in general, which would have tremendously negative effects on the war against global terror. Needless to say therefore, the stakes are infinitely high.

At the present moment these fanatic thugs are fighting your forces under the misperception that they have the “upper hand” in this confrontation. It is for this reason therefore, that any conciliatory move your Authority in Iraq will be making toward the insurgents will be perceived by them to be a sign of weakness by your side. A current example of this is the ceasefire in Fallujah, that Paul Bremer was probably compelled to declare as a result of pressures put upon him by some members of the Interim Governing Council (IGC). This was done to presumably give the opportunity to diplomatic palaver to resolve some of the issues that are contested between, in my judgement, irreconcilable opponents. These talks are bound to fail, as you will confront the hardened positions of these fanatics, which arise from their false belief that they will be bargaining from a strong position, that will be totally incompatible with your military plans against the insurgents, and therefore will be rejected by your side.

It is neither surprising nor unreasonable, that some members of the IGC have condemned your military actions in Fallujah and have opted for negotiations with the insurgents. What is unreasonable however, about the stand of the IGC – which apparently does not have political and military strategists among its members – is the futility, except as a public relations stunt of doubtful value, of these negotiations on the core issues between the belligerents, and the loss of valuable time that could be expended instead by your military commanders in putting, urgently and immediately, a stop to the momentum of the insurgency that threatens to engulf the whole country.

Paul Bremer therefore, has the responsibility to awaken these members of the IGC from their somnambulistic illusions, and spell out to them the high stakes involved, which can only be resolved by the use of major military force by the Coalition. However, despite these negative aspects of the ceasefire in Fallujah, it can be used positively by enabling women and children to evacuate the town, hence saving them from becoming collateral casualties from a future attack by your forces.

The paradigm of Vietnam has shown conclusively that your brave commanders and troops could not win a war that was politically restrained, as to the appropriate kind of weapons used against their enemies, by the hands of “micro-politicians”. In any major critical military engagement, military considerations should have the upper hand over political considerations. Certainly, the overwhelming military response of your forces against the insurgents will have local and international repercussions and will spark a “wildfire” of protests against your Administration. But despite this, the priority of the military over the political must not be modified and must prevail. It is the price that statesmanship must pay.

Moreover, what is of the utmost importance in this conflict is to inflict such a deadly blow on the insurgents in selected towns of Iraq, from which they will never be able to recover. It is not enough to capture or kill them in small numbers, but to do so in the largest number possible. Their capture or killing en masse, will have a powerful psychological effect upon other insurgents in other towns, and will irreparably breakdown their morale and their fighting spirit. To achieve this goal, you Mr. President, as Commander-in- Chief, must direct your commanders on the ground to use the weapons that would inflict this devastating blow on the insurgents. That means that incendiary bombs, and the “daisies cutter” be used as a last resort against the insurgents, whose total defeat is so pivotal to your historic project in Iraq and to the war against global terror.

Sure enough, as I said above, there will be multiple political repercussions on a world scale. But one has to be reminded that wars are won or lost by military actions not by political repercussions. It is a terrible situation to be in for a Commander-in-Chief, but the question for free, open, and civilized societies, is to be or not to be. It is by such tragic and historic burdens that your leadership and Tony Blair’s are weighed with presently. But the mantle of statesmanship falls on Churchillian shoulders.

Your turn now…

A Response to an American Isolationist

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It’s in the nature of power politics from the Roman republican times of Scipio Africanus (Carthage must be destroyed), to our own that no superpower can metastasize itself into isolationism, as your “minding our own business” implies. A benign superpower such as America by its ineluctable engagement with the world is the axis of global order.

Also, one must not forget that bin Laden is a symbol of a fanatic mass movement with multiple heads whose goal is to destroy the West and its incarnation, “evil America”. You cannot defeat such an enemy by merely “catching” or killing its symbol, bin Laden. You can only defeat him in the field of battle. Islamist terrorism is a mundanely “anarchic” movement with no centre of command. For all its true believers the centre of command is heavenly, since all of them ineradicably believe that they are the instruments of, and take their orders from, Allah.

The only way to defeat decisively such foes is to make them fail in the field of their operations , as presently seems to be happening with al Qaeda in Iraq with the new strategy of the surge which is crippling its suicidal jihadists. It’s at this point that they might start having doubts about being instruments of God and abandon their cause. This is why the outcome of the war in Iraq is of paramount importance to the war against global terror and to the security of the West.