Global War on Terror (GWOT) Was a Hopeless Blunder from the Get-Go

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It’s quite often the case that people within government criticize government programs, confirming our own criticisms. They usually do not understand, however, that no amount of tinkering or revisions to government programs can or will ever improve matters. Their recommendations typically do not call for eliminating whole programs. Instead they dutifully accept the mandates of government officials, seeking only to make them work somehow.

The GWOT has been severely criticized by Dr. Jeffrey Record of the U.S. Army War College. A link to a pdf of his monograph “Bounding the Global War on Terrorism” may be found here. This appeared in 2003.

The foreword states

“He finds that the war on terrorism — as opposed to the campaign against al-Qaeda — lacks strategic clarity, embraces unrealistic objectives, and may not be sustainable over the long haul. He calls for down-sizing the scope of the war on terrorism to reflect concrete U.S. security interests and the limits of American military power.”

The downsizing has been in Iraq. Afghanistan downsizing is promised. The focus on al-Qaeda has led to upsizing in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and other Africa countries. No downsizing with respect to Syria and Iran has occurred. The focus on al-Qaeda has apparently occurred, but it too has also failed, as my previous blog suggested.

I will quote only one paragraph from this monograph:

“Additionally, most of the GWOT’s declared objectives, which include the destruction of al-Qaeda and other transnational terrorist organizations, the transformation of Iraq into a prosperous, stable democracy, the democratization of the rest of the autocratic Middle East, the eradication of terrorism as a means of irregular warfare, and the (forcible, if necessary) termination of WMD proliferation to real and potential enemies worldwide, are unrealistic and condemn the United States to a hopeless quest for absolute security. As such, the GWOT’s goals are also politically, fiscally, and militarily unsustainable.”

The American public needs to turn against the GWOT. The press and intellectuals need to do far more homework. They need to dig out and read criticisms like these. They need to be more critical of government failures to alter its policies. Many brains were put in cold storage because of the emotional impact of 9/11. They need to be resuscitated. The time for emotion is over. The GWOT was a hasty, ill-conceived response to 9/11. The press and public need a strong dose of honesty about past blunders. The press and public need to stop paying attention to the fanatic warmongers, hatemongers and partisans of Israel and militarism.

10:40 am on August 23, 2013