The Art Of War Against ISIS

War is more art than science and technology. Presidential candidates are playing “war games” and competing for the trophy that would spell the end of the Islamic terrorist machine known as ISIS. It is clear that all murderous regimes like ISIS only understand force, and love to attack those who want to “make diplomatic love, not brutal war”. While carpet bombing seems like the force to dislodge them from their conquered lands, it will not be the move that will break their backs. Maybe the candidates have not learned the lessons of history, nor the wisdom of Sun Tzu, the Chinese master who taught his tactics to Chinese emperors 2500 years ago. Books have been written on Sun Tzu tactics applied to sports and business. His principles are taught in most American military schools. Certainly, the North Vietnamese applied Sun Tzu with great success against a much more powerful US military. Some of the successful tactics involved deception, clever use of spies, surprise (TET offensive), opportunity attacks on soft spots, infiltration of enemy ranks, mobility and agility of smaller insurgent forces hiding in plain sight (underground system of tunnels or in mosques), etc.. The tactic that made the final difference, however, was the feeding of the unwavering support for the war back home (Jane Fonda et al). Once news reporters (Walter Cronkite etc) started to question the wisdom of our actions, American youth became motivated to agitate against this and all wars, even in a violent manner (Bill Ayers bombing the Pentagon for example), bringing a superpower to its negotiating knees.

Should we apply similar tactics? General Sherman’s answer in the Civil War was “total war”, attacking not only military targets, but the supply chain that provided the goods from factories and farms, leaving of course collateral damage in his wake. The population of the South paid a price for supporting its Confederacy. Germans paid a similar price during WWII when we bombed their factories and cities (Cologne, Bremerhaven) to submit to our will. We nuclear-bombed Japan to kill the fanatic support of imperial Japan. We practiced deceit on D-Day. The Allies used spies and double agents to break the enemy’s secrets. Alas, our intelligence gathering capabilities have been compromised severely not only by the revelations by Mr. Snowdon, by probable hacking of unsecured official’s computers, and the infamous bilateral budget “sequester”, but mostly by ideologically motivated shifting of priorities, making further attacks on our homeland ever more likely

ISIS knows Sun Tzu. ISIS knows the West’s soft spots. And ISIS softens its own military installations by using civilians as shields. Having determined our soft side, ISIS uses that knowledge to paralyze the West. Let us note that the West has often sacrificed its own for the sake of a larger goal, not least of which are the Americans sacrificed in Benghazi and those recently abandoned in Iran, not to forget the Texians at the Alamo.. Yet the West is paralyzed by the likelihood of “collateral damage” in our defense against a brutal enemy. Our military and intelligence professionals know the art of war, and know how to win before the Russians and Chinese co-opt ISIS and turn it into a new cold war…



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