Friday, May 26, 2017

Killing the Enemy

In the Islamic Civil War for the heart and soul of how Islam should be defined--in the jihadi version or versions that can coexist with other religions--the ultimate victory has to come from within Islam itself.

But the jihadis and their Islamist brethren carry great weight in this civil war both from an appeal to "true" Islam and from the threat to kill those who even speak opposition to their jihad.

So Western help in killing the jihadis to lessen the physical jihadi threat is an important help for getting the civil war settled in a fashion that does not lead to planes flying into our buildings or trucks plowing through Western crowds.

Admitting we have an enemy as we have done in the review of the war does make it easier to wage war, as Secretary Mattis describes:

Two significant changes resulted from President Trump's review of our findings.

First, he delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities.

Secondly, he directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS. The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters. ...

The campaign designed end state remains the same; to destroy ISIS. But no longer will we have slowed decision cycles because Washington D.C. has to authorize tactical movements on the ground. I have absolute confidence as does the president, our commander in chief, in the commanders on the ground as he's proven by delegating this authority to me with the authority to further delegate it and they've carried it out aggressively.

One, the president shouldn't act as the theater, local, or even squad leader and pilot to make decisions on every tactical opportunity. That was a good change.

Second, I had noticed that the Iraqis seem to have cut off western Mosul unlike past battles for cities where Iraqis left an escape route for jihadis to flee rather than fight to the death.

I guess this is the general practice now. Good. I have little confidence in reforming jihadis. Killing them is safer for everyone.