Posted by Lex, on July 2, 2010
Charles Krauthammer asks for some:
President Obama’s National Security Strategy insists on calling the enemy — how else do you define those seeking your destruction? — “a loose network of violent extremists.” But this is utterly meaningless. This is not an anger-management therapy group gone rogue. These are people professing a powerful ideology rooted in a radical interpretation of Islam, in whose name they propagandize, proselytize, terrorize and kill.
Why is this important? Because the first rule of war is to know your enemy. If you don’t, you wander into intellectual cul-de-sacs and ignore the real causes that might allow you to prevent recurrences.
The Pentagon review of the Fort Hood shooting runs 86 pages with not a single mention of Hasan’s Islamism. It contains such politically correct inanities as “religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor.”
Of course it is. Indeed, Islamist fundamentalism is not only a risk factor. It is the risk factor, the common denominator linking all the great terror attacks of this century — from 9/11 to Mumbai, from Fort Hood to Times Square, from London to Madrid to Bali. The attackers varied in nationality, education, age, social class, native tongue and race. The one thing that united them was the jihadist vision in whose name they acted.
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle. — Sun Tzu, The Art of War
That quote is 2600 years old, but it is still timely: We are all set to bat .500 in the GWOT.