Global Insurgency

Israeli fighter jets blitzed Syria recently and tested the effectiveness of the Russian-made Pantsyr-S1E systems. The Israelis can jam the radar and tracking systems. Surprise, surprise, the Russians sold the Iranians and Syrians junk. The Syrians and Iranians are probably a little spooked that the Israelis and Americans are testing air attack options.

Damn, everyone is a little jumpy these days.

IPT has a roundup on the ongoing trial. Steven Emerson describes the HLF and CAIR connections to HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood at the Counterterrorism blog.

Shukri Abu Baker, the leader of HLF met with Hamas members and said “War is deception.” Yes it is. And CAIR, INSA, and HLF are front organizations for radical Islamists waging war against America.

The Lebanese military defeated Fatah and it looks like they killed the leader – Shaker al-Abssi. It was a hard-fought urban battle in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. Like many Palestinian refugee camps in the region, it grew into a large town.

Fatah was an al-Qaeda linked Islamist organization that started an insurgency. The Islamist uprising caused the Lebanese people to rally behind their military. The Lebanese are praising 150 soldiers killed in the war against al-Qaeda as martyrs.

The Thai Islamists refused to negotiate with the government.

Just as well, the insurgency is somewhat leaderless. Diplomacy with fragmented groups of non-state actors has rarely been effective at creating ceasefires and peace treaties.

For the past four years, Arab tribes in Sudan have expelled Africans from the Darfur region and have colonized the abandoned land. Now, the former members of the Janjaweed are fighting each other over the spoils.

Here’s the Investigative Project on Terrorism website, run by Steven Emerson (from the Counterterrorism blog).

It’s dedicated to militant Islamist organizations and their public relations front organizations.
And check out the US terror map. Those are just uncovered cells. We’ve had a lot of misses.

Grand Strategies are not a plan of action, so much as a general process to handle a problem. They must be flexible and adaptable to changes in enemy behavior. The best strategy to combat the Islamist Global Insurgency is to attack its ideological center of gravity, rather than its organizations. The Grand Strategy is one of Disaggregation. We must aggressively drive wedges between enemy factions in this war.

Ideological Wars

“The fight against the enemy nearest to you has precedence over the fight against the enemy farther away… In all Muslim countries the enemy has the reins of power. The enemy is the present rulers.” – Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj

There is a civil war going on in the Muslim world for the past 80 years.

The War on Terror represents a new style of warfare by non-state actors using network tactics. Military scholars call this “Fourth Generation Warfare” but the general public still does not understand the conflict and the ways to win. Imagine if in 1943, Americans did not understand blitzkrieg tactics and advocated incorrect military responses to the threat. I propose a framework for analyzing this security threat.

This must be the Islamist Healthcare Plan
All medical clinics not run by Hamas will be shut down. The vast majority of medical clinics and doctars were paid for by Fatah, so you can do the math.

Continuation of the New Great Game

The Great Powers cooperate against the Islamist threat, but they disagree over how to defeat Islamism and afterwards there are divergent interests in the region.

The US favors democracy promotion compared to the Russian and Chinese plan to prop up the local authoritarian governments with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). There are also disputes over how to manage the economic resources of the region.


Central Asia grew in importance after the fall of the Soviet Union. Islamist insurgents are challenging the weak authoritarian governments in the region.

The United States, China and Russia share a common interest in defeating Islamic militants and developing the regional economy. However, they are unable to agree on the best strategy to do so resulting in wary short-term cooperation and economic developments over access to natural resources deepen rivalries.

Currently, three great powers are engaging in a game of wary cooperation. The Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, understand this situation, and often take advantage of the competition by playing off the three Great Powers. Terrorism is the immediate raison d’etat for interventions, but all parties know that the great parties are seeking footholds in the region for later use. In addition the triangular competition by the great powers prevents any single nation from dominating. This makes this the Modern Great Game.

If anyone is interested, Raymond Ibrahim collected Al-Qaeda’s beliefs in one reader.

Al-Qaeda is an ideology with its own logical belief system. One of its greatest limitations is that its ends are not shared by most Muslims. Many al-Qaeda writers de-emphasize their ultimate objectives to gain broader support for short-term causes. This argument is born out by the Reader.

Many of the writings justify the means of the fantasy ideology moreso than the ends. Many al-Qaeda scholars debate religious scholars on the nature of jihad. They argue that jihad is an individual duty, but religious scholars believe it is an action by a collective state similar to Christian Just War theory.

You reap what you sow. (via Austin Bay)

Islamists have turned their attention to the Syrian Ba’athist regime. There are scattered reports of fighting as Islamists attacked Syrian military units near the Iraq border. This could just be a side effect as the US COIN strategy and the Anbar Salvation Front’s efforts push the Islamists out of sanctuaries in Iraq. Now the Islamists are operating closer and closer to the Syrian border.

Millions of Muslims have been killed by Muslims. John R. Thomson tallies up the dead. This cuts against everyone’s pet theory.

As a rough analogy, the Islamic World is in a period similar to the 30-Years War in Europe. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, there has been political illegitimacy and chaos. Civil Wars frequently break out and occasionally spill over onto non-Muslim countries. Eventually things will sort themselves out, but in the meantime, it is worth remembering at the big picture. The past decades have been the bloodiest in Muslim history and nearly all those killed have been killed by rival Muslims factions.

Pakistan and the US are starting their Hammer and Anvil strategy against the Taliban.

The Mexican government continues to fight a criminal insurgency in Northern Mexico. Criminal organizations formed their own paramilitary organizations and openly resist government rule. The violence is spilling across the border, as expected.

There’s a twist now. Not only are the gangs growing bolder, but they are cooperating with radical Islamist organizations. This continues the trend seen elsewhere in South American, where groups like Hezbollah cooperate with communists, drug smugglers, and others.

PRTs are an important tool in counterinsurgencies. They consist of 40-60 soldiers with a small team of civilians, usually 3-5 advisors from the State Department. The PRTs work with combat units, local government, and private contractors to restore regional government and initiate reconstruction projects. There are currently 25 PRTs in Iraq and 25 in Afghanistan.

Small Wars Journal gives a good run down on PRTs and reconstruction.

The Afghan, American and British Forces are now on the offensive in the Pashtun regions of Southeastern Afghanistan. The Taliban is taking a beating. The new Afghan COIN strategy is working, although it is not receiving much attention as the Iraq.

NATO has made significant headway into the tribal regions. Provincial Reconstruction Teams are expanding and working with the locals while conventional forces clear and hold regions throughout the south.

Congress intends to pass a bill to reform FISA and allow signals intelligence to resume its mission. via Big Lizards

FISA needs to be updated. It was passed in the 1970s to set guidelines on espionage against the Soviet Union. Technology and the nature of the enemy has radically changed since then.

A judge ruled this year that the US needed warrants to collect signals intelligence between Pakistanis talking to other Pakistanis in Pakistan. What? Legalism is seriously affecting the mission.

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