The Obama administration likes to portray itself as a fearless fighter against terrorism. By its own claims, it has kept the nation safe from Islamist terrorism.
To do so, it has found an excellent ruse. Whenever an act of Islamist terrorism happens, the administration insists that it has nothing to do with Islamist terrorism. It is workplace violence or a gun control issue. Failing to call it Islamist terrorism enhances the administration’s record of winning against Islamist terrorism.
But, a nagging question remains. What are we going to do about ISIS? Why have we failed in Syria? Why has the ISIS caliphate been expanding? Why does the Director of the CIA say that our efforts have been less than effective?
What do the candidates have to say? While Trump seems certainly to be stronger than Clinton on the subject, we have still not heard any specific proposals, any actionable plans.
So, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters takes a look at the problem and comes up with a plan.
Peters writes that they want to win. We do not. We want to occupy the moral high ground. They know that people who occupy the moral high ground are targets. And, as we have mentioned on this blog, we have put the troops under the command of lawyers. We are so squeamish that we are afraid of taking out the internet in Raqqa.
Peters identifies the problem:
The greatest advantage Islamist fanatics have over us is their strength of will, their determination to win. The terrorists literally will do anything to achieve victory.
We seek the blessing of lawyers, the approval of critics and minimal loss of life. So we’re losing.
The Obama administration celebrates the recapture of a few hick towns in Iraq, while ISIS and its affiliates spread around the world. Contrary to the inane claim by Secretary of State John Kerry, ISIS is not attacking us because it’s desperate, but because it can — because it has an electrifying vision of a changed world, while we placate ourselves with absurd rationalizations and politically correct fantasies.
So, what should we be doing? Peters offers a plan:
- Strong leadership that will do whatever it takes to win.
- Ruthlessness equal to that of our enemies.
- The recognition that Islamist fanatics must be exterminated wherever we find them. No pipe dreams of persuasion, please.
- The acceptance that there is no clean way to make war.
- The recognition of collective guilt, as applied to the Germans and Japanese in World War II.
- The recognition that civilization cannot be saved solely by civilized means.
He is suggesting that we are not going to win until we decide that we will do what it takes to win. We need to be ruthless. We are getting nowhere by trying to win hearts and minds. In fact, our weakness has caused us to lose hearts and minds.
And, of course, we must begin calling Islamist terrorism by its name. If terrorism exacts no reputational cost to Muslims, moderate members of the faith will refuse to face the fanatics in their midst. If we exonerate Islam while blaming the NRA and Christian Republicans they will conclude that we are divided and weak, unwilling to fight, uninterested in winning.