Saturday, July 02, 2005

Footnotes to History

Critics of the Global War On Terror often describe it as a "recruiting ground" spawning more terrorists. The truth is the other way round - 9/11 has caused the US to create and deploy the capability to destroy the Islamic barbarians, just as it destroyed their Nazi, Japanese & Soviet predecessors.

Here's an
excellent summary (my ellipsis) of the situation in Iraq, from General McCaffrey, professor of international security studies at West Point, who led the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division in the 1991 Gulf War.

...our fighting forces on the ground represent the most combat effective, courageous, and well-led military capability we have ever fielded. Their casualties are a fraction that we should expect given the level of cunning and firepower that has targeted them with automatic weapons fire, mortar and rocket attacks, RPG strikes, the greatly feared suicide bombers, and remotely detonated improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

We currently lose a battalion a month (about 500) of soldiers and Marines killed, wounded and injured. Our troops remain confident and demonstrate incredible bravery and restraint. Their sergeants, lieutenants, and captains are in many cases now in their third combat tour since 9/11. The in-country re-enlistment rate is sky-high in elite units like the Army's Third Infantry Division (250% of objective).

This U.S. fighting force in Iraq of 140,000 troops (more than half of whom are National Guard and Reserve Forces) is the crown jewel of our national security guarantee to the American people in the war on terror.

The General suggest that:

The U.S. Army needs to increase by 80,000 personnel and the Marines by 25,000.

Alternatively, the US can just redeploy its 110,000 troops from Europe, most of whom provide protection to ungrateful Germans.

So let's look 10 years out.

1. Over a million American citizens will be battle-hardened warriors.

2. The US technology sector that created the modern world will have supplied these warriors with weapons to destroy the whole range of terrorist threats.

3. Most Islamic countries will be either democracies or slag-heaps.

4. Surviving terrorists will be constantly hunted by professional assassins guided by spy satellites, clouds of drones and communications interception managed by near-intelligent computers.

5. Europe will have fallen to whichever barbarians happen to have weapons.

6. The Anglosphere will have other concerns - perhaps colonizing Mars, or fighting China is space, or deflecting the next asteroid.

And Islamic terrorism will have joined slavery and piracy as footnotes in world history.

Some recruiting ground.