In an op-ed written by Allen West today in Roll Call, the Congressman makes it clear that the United States isn't at war with one terrorist group or another, but at war with Islamic totalitarianism. He points out that each terrorist group in different parts of the world, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and even in South America, where Hezbollah has a heavy influence, are simply just arenas where terrorists dedicated to Islamism operate to carry out their missions.
To begin with, we must correctly identify our enemy. It is frankly naive to say we are at war with “terror” because a nation cannot be at war with a tactic. Imagine, if during World War II, the United States went to war against the “blitzkrieg” or the “kamikaze.”
Further, we cannot narrowly define the enemy as simply al-Qaida or the Taliban. It is just as ridiculous to say we declared war against the 12th German Panzer Division or the 55th Japanese Infantry Regiment in World War II or the 7th Guards Tank Division during the Cold War.
Before the rise of al-Qaida, the terrorist group which had inflicted the most damage on the United States was Hezbollah. Now Hezbollah has become a very capable military force, albeit one without state or uniform — so capable in fact, it has armed missiles within striking distance of every city in Israel.
We are fighting against the ideology of Islamic totalitarianism, manifested at a tactical level as terrorism, which knows no country and recognizes no borders.
West also holds the Obama Administration accountable for not dealing with Hezbollah in a proper and efficient way while offering suggestions about how to fight against Islamic totalitarianism as a whole.
1. Deny the enemy sanctuary. The number one asset our military has is strategic mobility. When that is curtailed by a focus on nation-building or occupation-style warfare, we eliminate our primary advantage, and worse, our military forces become targets. Because this enemy has no respect for borders or boundaries, we must be willing to take the fight directly to him.
2. Cut off the enemy’s flow of men, material and resources. We have to interdict the enemy’s flow of resources in order to prevent the ability to fund, supply and replenish his ranks.
3. Win the information war. Unfortunately, the enemy is far more adept at exploiting the power of the Internet, broadcast media and dissemination of powerful imagery. In addition, I fear our media now sees itself as an ideological political wing. If we cannot fully use our own national informational power as an asset, we will lose the strategic battle, if not our country.
4. Cordon off the enemy and reduce his sphere of influence. We must shrink the enemy’s territory, but we are not being effective. We are allowing, if not welcoming, the enemy into the United States. What happened with Maj. Nidal Hasan, the alleged Fort Hood shooter, should not have happened in this country. We must not turn a blind eye to a very bold enemy who is telling us exactly what he wants to do and is willing to bring the battle to our doorstep.