Thursday, July 12, 2007
Intel Estimate: Al Qaeda is Coming
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
An Associated Press report quotes a Draft National Intelligence estimate that Al Qaeda is stronger than ever and is targeting the U.S. by trying even harder to sneak its operatives into this country. The estimate also says that the terrorist group has most of what it needs to strike us here.
It's also suggested that one of the main reasons for this enemy capability is Al Qaeda’s use of their safe haven along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There they can train, recruit and plan attacks in peace. The terrorists are safe because the Pakistanis won’t fight them and we won’t go after them either.
It is absurd to believe we can defeat Al Qaeda anywhere in the world as long as they have their protected bases in Pakistan. Perceived political correctness and the fear that such attacks may imperil the Pakistani leader are not enough to allow this breeding ground to exist.
When Al Qaeda and the Taliban were on the run from us in Afghanistan, they had no place to land or take root. Now they have northwestern Pakistan. This must end and those sanctuaries must be destroyed along with any terrorists that are there. Civilian casualties are tragic, but if the terrorists have their families with them, then that's their shame, not ours.
If we continue to wage a "limited" war against the Islamic militants, there's a grave risk that we could ultimately lose this epic battle against terrorism. The Muslims have the patience to wait for many years to defeat their enemies – and they believe they are fighting for God. They have the safe haven, the strength of will and the determination to kill all of us if they can – or if we let them.
Take away the safe haven first; then kill them, capture them or put them on the run. Only then will their strength of will and determination be wounded or destroyed. We must show the terrorists that we have just as much resolve as they do. If we don’t fight them as though our civilization depends on it, then we and our children are in for a tragic struggle down the road.
Al Qaeda has said that the central battleground in this war is Iraq. The surge is just now getting up to full strength, but it depends on the Iraqis to also step up to the plate. Just in case they don’t, we better develop an alternate plan now for both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The strategy of fighting "half-wars" will never work.
SFC Chuck Grist