Recently over a Starbuck's coffee, I talked to a Special Forces Officer on his way to Iraq for the second time. A buddy had set up the meeting because he knew my interest. The officer was a very impressive, seasoned soldier who had been in Bosnia and the first Gulf War.
(REUTERS/Namir Noor-Eldeen (IRAQ)
During the course of the conversation, we started talking about Special Forces training and I could not resist giving him my views of how we must fight the war on terrorism with elite troops dedicated to staying as long as it takes and doing the counter-insurgency work to get the job done.-in many ways, fighting just like the terrorists.
The Special Forces Officer agreed with my view, but said we didn't have enough Special Forces troops. Then we started discussing the state of the Iraq war, whether we should be there or not, whether or not it has been mismanaged, public opinion polls, etc.
For the moment, let's put aside issues of why or how we got to Iraq and even how we have mismanaged the war unmercifully and operate on the basis that we are there and we are not going to leave any time soon. More Special Forces troops, in my opinion, are the best option.Their training and discipline allows them to confront the enemy, do everything they can to avoid a fight; but, when the fight is inevitable, everything possible is done to bring it to an end. This is a driving force of the unconventional soldier.
In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, proposes that we can shorten the war on terrorism.
Other than myself, he's the only one I've heard who has espoused fighting the war in Iraq with Special Forces type troops trained in guerrilla warfare and urban conflict. We need to get the conventional soldiers out of Iraq.
But, be able to shorten the war on terrorism? I keep hearing concepts that if we do so and so, we can stop terrorism in its tracks. I don't think so.This is a war that is not going to end.
Three of Professor Arquilla's main points to shorten the war on terrorism are: 1) Cut the defensive budget about 10 percent over the next 4 or 5 years and we can cut unnecessary cold war weapons. Donald Rumsfeld(my favorite person) can then reorganize the military. We can also get out of Iraq and leave a small contingent of Special Forces and Marine fire power(more special forces-I agree). 2)Use diplomacy to bring together a network of nations for survillence purposes, counter intelligence, information sharing to go after the 30 or 40 groups of terrorists around the world. 3) Promise countries like North Korea and Iran we will not attack them, if they get rid of their nuclear weapons programs.
If we do these three things we can possibly win the war on terror by 2050. I, personally, am not buying this; I just don't think we ever just "wrap the war on terrorism up."
Professor Arquilla's article.
What I think we Americans ,who care, need to know is that we are in a never ending war. We can not forget 9-11 happened and that something like 9-11 will most likely happen again. In this war, there are no winners and losers, other than naiveté and innocence, not to mention our way of life. Trying to prevent another attack comes with a price and the price is the never ending fight.
We need more Special Forces troops for the long fight ahead. Hoo-ah!!!-KT