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Nicolas

Sawicky Strategic Plan for War on Terror Professor Henning Terrorism has been a part of the world we live in for thousands of years. The modern version has brought the tactic of violence and intimidation for political goals to center stage. Its visibility hit a record high on the day of September 11th, 2001. This second day of infamy made every American aware of what dangers lurked behind the curtain of Islam. It was after this terrible event that Americas War on Terror became a priority for the United States government. Just like the War on Drugs, this war did not have one enemy, but instead is a war that blankets numerous organizations that threaten Americans. Even though the war is meant to eliminate international terrorism, it primarily focuses on militant Islamists, most notability al-Qaeda. After al-Qaedas attack on American soil, plans were immediately put into place to bring the fight to their headquarters in Afghanistan. It was believed that this move would serve as a deterrent for future attacks. Unfortunately, it also motivated other Muslims to join the fight now that America had invaded their homeland. The situation was then made worse when the United States decided to invade Iraq. Richard Clarke proclaims that these occupations gave al-Qaeda the greatest recruitment propaganda imaginable and made it difficult for friendly Islamic governments to be seen working closely with us (264). The United States is now faced with a concealed al-Qaeda leadership that is able to kill 1

Americans without even having to leave the Muslim world. The first action that needs to materialize is a quick exit from the Country of Iraq. The invasion of Iraq has been a lightning rod of controversy for not only Americans, but also for Muslims across the world. The fact is we never should have been there in the first place. There was never a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. In the eyes of many Muslims, the invasion is viewed as just another crusade against the people of Islam. The only way to take away the hatred this occupation is causing in the Muslim world would be to end the conquest. That is why I propose an immediate withdraw of American military troops. There is still work that needs to be done, but the sight of American military forces is only hindering the progress towards peace. The focus instead needs to be placed on Afghanistan. The resources that were once in Iraq should instead be redistributed in the occupation of Afghanistan. The first priority should be the stabilization the country. The best way to do this would be to first stabilize the major cities in Afghanistan. The creation of these citywide green zones would be much easier than similar efforts in the large and untamed regions of Afghanistan. These large green zones would only be as safe if the borders into them were heavily guarded. Luckily the United States can use the success and the failures of the French occupation of Algiers as a foundation for these green zones. In the film, The Battle of Algiers, the audience learns that freedom of movement in a hostile area can be very dangerous. Before tightening the restrictions, the insurgents were able to move into the European quarters with ease and plant bombs within that area. Tightening restrictions to only suspicious males also did not work. The insurgents were able to adapt and use females 2

as the medium for bomb transportation. An approach that just might work would be something similar to what Stalin employed during collectivization program. Every Russian was forced to get a passport. Unlike traditional passports that allow you to travel across the world if you have one, these passports restricted your movement. You could only get work in the area that your passport said you lived in (Stalin Class Notes). If the United States were to adopt a similar policy, the green zones would be much safer from terrorist attacks. You must remember, todays terrorists dont use conventional weapons, but instead use readily concealed mean of outrage, such as plastic explosives (Keegan, 315). If the U.S. was able to stop not only violence in the streets, but also random bombings, peoples attention could begin to focus on more important issues. One of the first objectives should be the elimination of the current system that many poor Muslims face. As we speak, many of these ignorant men end up joining a radical religious group after facing tough times. Terrorist leaders encourage operatives to participate in terrorist violence by holding the promise of heavenly rewards (Stern, 4). These operative are also influenced by pragmatic incentives, including money for themselves and their families (Stern, 5). Most of the time this leads these men down a path of Martyrdom. Stern explains that Martyrdom is viewed in the Muslim world as a supreme act of heroism and worship, providing the ultimate escape from lifes dilemmas, especially for individuals who feel deeply alienated and confused, humiliated or desperate (6). If the United States wants to stop the flow of Martyrs, the current system that these men live in must also stop. The most effective way of changing a complex system is to break it down into more

easily understandable sections. The most suitable category for this change would be to focus on the change for each different age group: children, young adults, and adults. The changes would include reforming the educational system for children, giving the teenagers work, and making life better for the adults of Afghanistan. Reforms in the education system should be one of the top priorities in Afghanistan. Children should be required to attend public schools that not only teach them about the peaceful religion that is Islam, but also teach them about the other religions of the world. Along with the education of different religions, the schools should educate its children about the history of Afghanistan, making sure they know about the United States involvement in freeing the people of Afghanistan from the Soviet Union. It is simple additions like these to the educational system in Afghanistan that will eventually breed educated, pro-western citizens. Thus allowing for a mutually beneficial partnership in the future, without the need for American occupation. The United States must also focus on the teenagers of Afghanistan if they want to stop the trend of these young men joining jihadist organizations. Looking back in history, there are two great examples of programs that helped not only reform the youth, but also improve an entire country. The first instance was the New Deal under the direction of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps focused on men from ages 18-24. The CCC recruited jobless young men to help serve their country by helping with important conservation projects. In return for their help, their family received their paycheck, so that the money made did not go to things like alcohol and women. The final positive result of the CCC was that it was run like a military camp, developing the

young men into strong Americans, producing the same positive characteristics that troubled youth who join the military receive. The same framework was also used during the Allied occupation of Japan. Under the supreme command of General Douglas MacArthur, young Japanese men were put to work to help rebuild the bombed-out nation of Japan (MacArthur). As these men grew older, they remembered what America did to help with the rebuilding of their country. In the case of Afghanistan, something similar should be done to keep order among the young men of Afghanistan. Using the remarkable plan that MacArthur executed during the occupation of Japan. The adults of Afghanistan must also see an improvement in their lifestyle if they are going to accept pro-western ideas. It is recommended that the United States once again take a look to the previous success of its occupation of Japan for clues on how to accomplish this. During the occupation of Japan, the U.S. took power away from the landlords and distributed land to the poor. MacArthur modeled their new constitution after Americas, including a similar Bill of Rights, even giving women the power to vote (MacArthur). Something similar should be done in Afghanistan, which would include well paying jobs to mine the numerous deposits of fuel and metals, distribution of arable land to poor farmers, and cheap housing for its citizens. These improvements along with giving women the right to vote would help change the country from a poor and dependent nation to one that is more modest and self-sustaining. The religion of Islam is very well ingrained into every aspect of life in countries like Afghanistan. Although Islam preaches peace, some of the more radical forms of the religion proclaim violence as a necessary part of Islam. The United States needs to focus on the

extermination of this radical Islam so that the religion that Muslims holds so dear to their heart is not telling them to kill. The most successful approach for this elimination will have to be non- confrontational. As Clarke points out, Bombs and bullets, handcuffs and jail bars will not address the source of that ideological change (262). The United States must instead give an alternate to the popular fundamentalist approach (Clarke, 247). Similar to the American fight against Communism overseas, the U.S. must make the peaceful Islamic ideology seem more powerful and attractive. This would have to be done mostly by Islamic friends in the area who also believe in a more peaceful form of Islam. Adding incentives like U.S. funding would hopefully expedite the process. Then when people are facing tough times and they turn to their religion, it teaches them about inner peace instead of how evil the West is and they end up joining a radical organization like al-Qaeda (Stern, 4). Along with changing the culture of the Muslim world, the United States must also directly fight against the terrorist organizations that have taken root in the Middle East. One of the most important things that need to be remembered is that a terrorist organization behaves differently than an enemy nation. Cutting off the head does not kill the snake; a new head just grows in its place. The only way to kill this kind of snake is by cutting off its food supply. One of the biggest money-makers for a terrorist organization is its fundraising. These terrorist organizations use the same methods that legitimate charities use to raise money (Stern, 365). They often openly solicit donations in houses of worship (Stern, 365). This practice can easily be eliminated with the complete elimination of solicitation in 6

houses of worship. This would cut down fundraising efforts of many legitimate charities, but will for the most part save lives. Terrorist organizations also fundraise through the mail, telephone, and Internet. They foolishly provide the bank account numbers and the address of the bank in these communications (Stern, 265). When this is the case, the United States intelligence agencies should quickly identify the bank account numbers and any connected accounts. After identifying their location and the owners of the accounts. The owners should be brought into questioning and the funds frozen. This move would allow the U.S. to not only put a dent into their cash flow, but also detain some of the men responsible for their continued funding. Afghanistan is one of the drug capitals of the world. It serves as one of the prime regions for growing opium, which is used to make heroin. Billions of dollars are made from this illegal trade and a portion of this money reaches organizations like al-Qaeda. As mentioned earlier, the United States is also involved in a War on Drugs, which includes the terrible drug heroin. In would be in the best interest of the U.S. to kill two birds with one stone and eliminate the opium trade in Afghanistan, which will in turn cut into the money that groups like al-Qaeda get their hands on. As Stern proclaims, Money is a critical component of what distinguishes groups that are effective from those that disappear or fail to have an impact (278). If we stop the flow of money, we kill the snake. Communication is another important element for any successful terrorist organization. If a terrorist organization cannot communicate effectively, its ability to be successful is greatly diminished. With a secretive organization like al-Qaeda, 7

intercommunication is a double-edged sword. It is necessary for survival, but also becomes a weak link in how it operates (Keegan, 316). The United States has developed a modern method of scanning and point targeting of transmissions, which allow the western interception agencies to isolate and overhear an increasingly large number of significant messages (Keegan, 316). This type of tracking also allows the U.S. to identify suspects and locate their places of operation (Keegan, 316). More resources need to be put into this type intelligence tracking so that the United States can be ahead of any future attacks that may occur. Although these technologically advanced techniques help in many cases, they do not work when the organization decides to only communicate person-to-person. The age-old method of personal counter-espionage is still a viable option in the War on Terror. As Keegan points out, Some attacks on al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist networks will be made successful only by recourse to the oldest of all intelligence methods, direct and personal counter-espionage (316). This method is much more dangerous and involves the incorporation of resident Muslims that must be trusted to deliver what they learn to the United States. As places like Afghanistan start to become more Americanized, these candidates will become more plentiful. In the case of friendly Arab nations that are not under direct control of the United States like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the work that needs to be done will not be as swift. Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have governments that are friendly to the United States of America. Unfortunately, that friendship can only go so far. The United States needs to convince these two countries to slowly implement the framework that has been provided

for the nation of Afghanistan. The elimination of extremist religious ideology will help strengthen their power. The idea of an American constitution will not be accepted, so it would be best to look the other way on that topic. Access into their country for intelligence reasons should also be requested. It is small things like these that will help turn the tide in the entire region, hopefully leading to continued peace and good relations with the western nations of the world. To completely win the War on Terror, the United States must also deal with the unfriendly nations, most notability Iran. Clarke describes the Nation of Iran as one of the priority nations that require attention in the War on Terror. Iran is not only filled with radical Muslims who are willing to destroy the West, but they also hide behind an anti- Western government (Clarke, 284). Clarke believes the most effective way of dealing with the Nation of Iran and the terrorists that inhabit its borders is to push democracy (284). Without making the pro-democracy citizens of Iran CIA agents, the U.S. should focus on strengthening the democratic forces within Iran (Clarke, 284). This can best be done with funding for this revolutionary cause and giving guidance when needed. The last thing the United States wants to do right now is to be put in charge of another nation building project. With the above strategic plan, the United States has an excellent chance of winning the War of Terror within the Middle East. The above plan outlines not only the military strategy that needs to occur, but also the social, religious, economical, and intelligence changes that need to materialize if we have any hope of ending the terrible hatred the people of many Islamic countries have for Westerners.

Works Cited Bakhmetyeva, Tatyana. Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler. Class Notes. Spring 2010. The Battle of Algiers. Dir. Gillo Pontecorvo. Prod. Antonio Musu and Yacef Saadi. By Franco Solinas and Gillo Pontecorvo. Perf. Brahim Haggiag and Yacef Saadi. Rizzoli Film Distributors, 1967. "CCC Legacy." Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy Home Page. Web. 21 May 2010. <http://www.ccclegacy.org/ccc_legacy.htm>. Clarke, Richard A. Against All Enemies: inside America's War on Terror. New York: Free, 2004. Print. Keegan, John. Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda. New York: Random House Large Print, 2003. Print. MacArthur. Dir. Joseph Sargent. 1977. Stern, Jessica. Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. New York: Ecco, 2003. Print.

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