I’ve been encouraged by a friend to delve into ‘political analysis’, and to start it all off he’s proposed some questions for me to ‘analyse’. This may become a regular feature.
Ok so now the Democrats have turned the balance of power in their favour , really there are 2 questions:
1. What will this mean to a) the American people and b) to the Iraqis
2. What implications will this have on the rest of the world for all the governments that have bought into the “fight against global terrorism” with Bush. (ie continued support ,financial, moral, free trade etc etc)
These are certainly very good questions, which I’ll endeavour to answer.
What will this mean to a) the American people and b) to the Iraqis
With the Democrats having won with quite a landslide, it’s sent a message to the Bush Administration that the American people want change. They don’t want to ‘stay the course’ any more.
And who can blame them? With frquent scandals showing major corruption in the Republican ranks, and with things getting worse in Iraq while a President and Defense Secretary continue talking about how ‘victorious’ they are, the American people have shown that they’re sick and tired of it.
As a result of the people having spoken, Bush now has to answer to the Democrats, instead of having full reign to do what he wants from the Republicans. His first action after the Democrats’ win was to accept Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation and nominate Robert Gates, former Director of the CIA (’91-’93), as the new Secretary of Defense.
What’s significant about this is that Robert Gates is a member of the Iraq Study Group, who believe that a different strategy needs to occur in order to find success in Iraq.
With Robert at the helm of the military, the changes he is going to overseer are likely to be the kinds of changes that will appease a broad spectrum of people. I feel that he is likely to start focusing more on Third Generation Warfare in order to achieve desired results.
I talked about the Generations of Warfare over here, and in it I suggested the following:
Third Generation Warfare (3GW) forces need to be used… These are Special Forces soldiers, who can move further and faster than the enemy, with full tactical capabilities rather than calling in air strikes.
If the enemy retreats into the population, hides amongst them, or is even part of the population itself, then 3GW forces need to be able to either become part of the population themselves, or gain the assistance of the population.
In summary, the US is never going to win against ‘terrorists’ because they don’t understand that brute force will not work. They need to develop similar tactics to their enemy, and they need to fight on the battlefield that the enemy has defined. If the US fails to do this, their only choice will be to retreat.
I think we’re going to start seeing this strategy used in the near future, where Special Forces are going to be used more often. I also think we’re going to see some, if not all, of the following:
- A redefining of the mission in Iraq. Instead of trying to quell the population and root out the insurgents, the US mission will be to help the various religious factions in Iraq find a compromise in order to reduce the chaos and allow the country to move forward.
- The US military presence will be severely downgraded, with most of the forces returning home, while the remainder provides security for the government, and to patrol the Iranian border.
- With the bulk of the US military back home, the American people are going to feel a lot happier. Particularly if they start hearing news about how the US Special Forces are obtaining success with their tactical strikes against the insurgents’ leadership and resources.
- With most of the US military gone, the Iraqi people start to feel better about things. They provide less support to the insurgents.
- The insurgents, being hit hard by US Special Forces, having less support and resources from their own people, and seeing that their reason for fighting in the first place – to get rid of the US – is being obtained anyway, are going to start melting away. Why continue fighting when the goal has either been reached or has become pointless?
- Negotiations with Iran will be restored to allow them to continue developing peaceful nuclear energy but with close international monitoring.
- With an element of calm returning to Iraq, the United Nations can go in to help maintain order and provide assistance to rebuild the country.
- Around the world, there will be an increased level of confidence in the US ability to resolve such a complex situation. The fact that the US created it in the first place will be ignored as everyone moves forward with their newfound sense of reassurance.
What implications will the Democrat victory have on the rest of the world for all the governments that have bought into the “fight against global terrorism”?
Both the US and the rest of the world has seen that the tactics of Second Generation Warfare do not work against this new enemy called terrorism, who practice Fourth Generation Warfare. A complete and total shift of military force needs to be employed.
The US has failed in Iraq with the use of brute force and superior technology. Israel has also failed – for the first time in its history – against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. These failures are because superior technology has been useless against superior strategies that are being employed by terrorists.
If the Democrats, working with Bush and Robert Gates to bring about a completely radical shift in how the military is used against terrorism, can win in Iraq and Afghanistan and then move forward with the same kind of renewed military focus against other terrorist strongholds around the world, then more and more nations are going to want to be aligned with this new way of doing things.
At the same time, the nations of the world – especially the US – need to ask themselves a very important question. What are WE doing that is encouraging terrorism? What are WE doing that is causing these people to say, ‘we must go to war against them’ and take up terrorism?
If the right questions can be asked, and the right responses can be found, I think that we can be on the verge of finding a solution to ease the tension everywhere.
It does, of course, need all nations to agree to working together to find a solution. Israel, for example, needs to have a united movement of nations working to stop what it’s doing with the Palestinians and Lebanon. The reason they continue committing atrocities against the Palestinians is because the rest of the world lets them.
Violence only breeds violence. The more any country uses violence against another country 0r people, the more the victims are going to want to fight back. The violence has to stop somewhere.
It’s nice to hope that the implications of a Democrat victory will lead to increased efforts at finding peaceful solutions, but hope doesn’t often have a basis in the reality of what ends up happening. I’ll be watching as events develop over the next few weeks, months and years, to see how my analysis matches up with real events as they occur.
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