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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, October 13, 2006

Four Options

Reflecting on the war since 9-11, I came to the conclusion some time ago that there are really only four potential outcomes and/or grand strategy options in the West's war against islam. I don't usually post in my blog about subjects I write on professionally, but herewith are my thoughts on the four outcomes:

1. Take the Fall. This option is what our enemy seeks: nothing short of destruction of the modern secular West, replaced by an Umma that probably includes all of Europe, a fatally injured and greatly reduced America, and the rest of the world at war as India and China resist islam with, shall we say, less compunction about civilian casualties than we have. The ideal for the islamofascists, of course, is a worldwide salafist, sharia-ruled Umma, or a world entirely shi'a, ruled by the Mahdi. Maybe the sunni and shi'a would make a deal to divide up the world...who knows.

2. Build a Wall. Just as the Israelis are doing around the West Bank and Gaza, this is the most literal form of containment. It would eventually involve deporting (or interning) most muslims in Western nations, building massive physical barriers in some places (like Israel), and establishing real and virtual blockades of the muslim world in order to seal it off as a danger to the West and Far East. This would entail acts of war against every muslim-ruled nation on Earth and would likely exacerbate islamic extremism, as the world became physically divided into dar al-islam and dar al-harb. It would last for decades, if not centuries, greatly increase the suffering of captive muslim populations, and quite possibly delay their "growing up" -- getting to the place we got to about 400 years ago, when we in the West decided to stop killing people for religious differences, and the Far East got to about a hundred years ago. This option also requires a very signifcant outlay of capital and constant maintenance costs for decades at least. It's unlikely that the West has the stomach for this.

3. Make Them Small. This, in one form, is the strategy we are persuing and the one that ultimately defeated communism. We used soft power to isolate, co-opt, and subvert segments of the enemy's population, while using hard power to isolate (e.g., the East-West German divide) and/or resist enemy expansion and aggression (e.g., Korea and Vietnam). This strategy has its dangers and limitations: a) islamofacism is in its early, earnestly religious phase of expansion. Its true adherents cannot be negotiated with; they must be destroyed and/or isloated until their power has waned and their system has settled into stasus and either collapses of its own internal contradictions (e.g., the Soviet Union) or evolves to more closely resemble the West (e.g., China). b) Hard power must be used successfully, or we will become disheartened and lose will. With traitors on out TV screens proclaiming our soldiers to be baby-killers for the first time since Vietnam, we have little enough of that already. c) Again, it requires will to carry out and probably will extend for decades or longer. A great advantage of this approach is that it allows for flexibility: uses of soft power (economic, social, poltical, informational...) can involve engagement (a la Syria), or can involve bribery and co-option for those willing to "play ball" (e.g., Pakistan). This can entail miltiary action of more limited scope: brushfire wars to take out the worst or most strategically placed enemy enclaves and regimes. Iraq was such a campaign. Bombing Iran's nascent nuclear facilities would be another (and there would be almost no negative consequences to doing so).

4. Kill Them All. aka, "more rubble, less trouble." This is the outcome I most fear, because, being a Christian, I don't cotton to seeing half a billion people flashed into smoking meat hunks. That, however, is what I think will happen when the West (and, perhaps even more likely, the East, as represented by China and India, both of whom reortedly have thermonuclear weapons) finally gets fed up or some catastrophe happens that truly threatens its existance. B-52s delivering big, Cobalt-salted, city-busting B-53s to every muslim capital in the world is not something it is pleasant to contemplate, but that very may be what happens if the West finally decides to invoke its millenia-old tradition of quick, decisive victory. Millions may die in the West and East; many more will die in the dar al-islam and the survivors will envy the dead. I fear such a war will make all the losses in all the wars and totalitarian-utopian slaughters of the 20th century pale by comparison.

I hope we never have to invoke No 4. I think only competant conduct of option 3 is the only way to prevent it, however, and the anti-war crowd -- truly treasonous in much of its conduct -- is making this more difficult. Why not? The international Left has the blood of tens of millions on its hands from all the utopian schemes it endorsed in the 20th Century. Why should we think it would shy away from the death of a few hundred million in its eternal quest to destroy its own civilization and bring us back to Year Zero?


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