Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Islamist

I've been writing that I believe we need to work the problem of Moslem extremism and not abandon our friends who would fight that Islamists fanaticism in our frustration over loud and violent Islamist demonstrations. This is the real war on terror.

Kinetics in Iraq and Afghanistan are merely the holding actions that targeted states that supported terrorists and fought jihadi foot soldiers on the battlefields they chose to make a stand. In a perfect world, our kinetic fights don't need to reach this level again (but we might) and we can make do with lower level support for allies and minimal direct force as with drone strikes in Pakistan or our Horn of Africa efforts.

To make sure this isn't an endless war against the symptoms of the problem, we must help Islam eliminate the jihadis and the Islamist ideology that generates the jihadis and their fanboys. We have friends who need our help and who don't want the jihadis to represent them or rule them:

Anti-Americanism is a potent force in the Arab Middle East; polls show that in several countries — though not in Libya — U.S. prestige has fallen during the Obama administration. But in a region where power is up for grabs, it is only one of many competing agendas, and much evidence suggests that its champions are in the minority. That means the appropriate U.S. response is not to write off the region, or to cancel aid programs — as some in Congress propose — but to help moderate forces defeat and marginalize the extremists.

Washing our hands and refusing to deal with the problem by saying the problem is too hard or that we've made no progress just tells the moderates and reformers that we believe the Islamists really do represent Islam.

Work the problem. That's the only way to responsibly end this Long War.