War on Terror: Wrong Strategy

The War on Terror (or Terrorism) superficially sounds like an obvious necessity. It isn’t. American leaders are fond of grandiose programs and wars, such as on poverty and drugs. Americans have not yet learned the lesson that these wars are CRAZY. They cannot work. Common sense and intuition, if not experience and thought, should be telling us that these wars can’t work. They can only produce worse results, such as larger and larger food stamp programs, greater and greater dependency upon government accompanied by worse and worse family lives and job skills, and more and more penetration of stronger and more dangerous drugs into society. The War on Terror is having the same kinds of results: More and more terrorism, worse terrorism, more and more techniques of terrorism developed by terrorists, more and more recruits to terrorism, and terrorism spread into more and more countries.

Time and again, I condemn the War on Terror as a fundamentally flawed strategy. This was the biggest single blunder of George W. Bush. Following this strategy, the U.S. has launched war after war after bloody war since 9/11, killing and maiming uncounted hordes of innocent people, including American armed forces. Terrorism itself could not have achieved such devastation. These wars caused terrorism to become worse, spreading it into many lands. Certainly ISIS was or is a worse manifestation of terrorism. U.S. forces have been sent now into 80 or so countries, multiplying the folly of the War on Terror.

William Lind in 2004 proposed a defensive strategy toward national defense. This built upon the work of earlier military strategists and theorists.

Defensive measures against terrorism include vigilance: carefully watching out for possible dangers. They include actions that follow up on such vigilance. The tragedy of 9/11 traces back in part to inadequate vigilance of major U.S. government agencies. Defensive measures do not include going to war in Afghanistan or Somalia or Yemen, using drones or armed forces, conventional or special. They do not include the disruption of whole states like Libya and Syria and Iran.

The War on Terror is the wrong strategy, and it has been followed after Bush by Obama. It’s now being followed again by Trump.


9:01 am on January 9, 2018

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