Military-security operations protected these time-consuming processes. Rock and roll and blue jeans, protected by U.S. Army in Europe, won the Cold War. That is icon lingo for saying U.S. cultural attractiveness and economic productivity (rock and roll and blue jeans), complemented by a sustained and powerful military effort, ultimately contained and defeated the Soviet Union. This is multidimensional warfare.
Gen. David Petraeus, America's new Afghan commander, is thoroughly schooled on multidimensional warfare and understands economic development's essential role in winning the long, debilitating struggle dubbed the Global War on Terror. OK, the Obama administration insists on calling it an "overseas contingency operation," but 18 months deep into The Age of Obama, all but the most benumbed Obamaites recognize the phrase as reality-denying rhetoric.
In his contentious April 2008 testimony before Congress, Petreaus briefly referred to a chart titled "Anaconda Strategy versus al-Qaida in Iraq." The Anaconda Chart was a complex graphic that depicting the U.S. strategy for winning Iraq's intricate, multidimensional war.
It identified six lines of attack on al-Qaida: 1) Kinetics (which includes combat); 2) Politics (Iraqi political reconciliation was key); 3) Intelligence; 4) Detainee Ops (which includes counter-insurgency in detention facilities); 5) Non-Kinetics (education, jobs programs); and 6) Interagency. The "Interagency" line of operation included diplomacy and media operations. "Squeezing" al-Qaida in all dimensions was the big idea guiding Anaconda.
Afghanistan differs from Iraq. The U.S. has pursued a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy in Afghanistan, but trust Petraeus will vigorously pursue an energize Afghan Anaconda. Creating stability and wealth, however, takes time. President Barack Obama will have to exercise a skill he has yet to demonstrate: strategic patience.
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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