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Time To Put The Offense Back in the Game?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

From roughly 1965 until 1972 the CIA oversaw a classified operation in South Vietnam called the Phoenix Program. Basically the Phoenix Program was intended to attack and destroy the political leaders of the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong operating within South Vietnam.


The American political and military leadership felt that if we were to remove the leadership of the Viet Cong through capture or killing them, we could eventually defeat the communists in Southeast Asia.

And since we were at war in South Vietnam, albeit officially undeclared against the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, as far as our leadership was concerned capturing or if necessary killing the enemy leadership was well within the rules of warfare.

The targets of the Phoenix Program included both enemy military as well as political leaders. Those responsible for overseeing and conducting combat operations against American and South Vietnamese military forces, as well as those political officers responsible for imposing the communist indoctrination on South Vietnamese civilians.

While certainly a controversial and much-maligned but mostly misunderstood operation, revisionist history aside the Phoenix Program met with a great deal of success and contributed much to the overall war effort in South Vietnam. Literally tens of thousands of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers were “neutralized” one way or another, and were no longer able to kill American soldiers or South Vietnamese civilians.


Since Islamic extremists certainly aren’t shy about killing Americans overseas or here in the United States, and in light of the most recent terrorist attack which killed five military recruiters in Chattanooga, perhaps it’s time that we rethink how we’ve been prosecuting the War on Terror for the past six-plus years. It’s far past time for us to go back on the offensive. A strategy that appeared to be succeeding prior to the Obama administration coming into office.

With American forces conducting offensive combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and supported by a robust intelligence effort, the United States had been able to disrupt Islamic terrorist activities, thereby helping protect the American homeland. No major terrorist attacks occurred inside the U.S. since 2001 as a result of our offensive efforts. Unlike what we’ve experienced under the Barack Obama presidency.

Iraq had begun to stabilize and was pointed in the right direction to eventually achieve peace and serve as an American ally in a volatile part of the world. As well as serve as a counterpoint to Iranian interference and meddling. And at the cost of thousands of American lives, mind you.

Much of Afghanistan had been pacified and progress was being made to establish a working government in Kabul to change the radical fundamentalist direction the Afghan people had been going for the last couple of decades. A direction taking them from the Stone Age and at least into the twentieth century.


While little can be done to change the message of the radical Madrasas and Mosques which have been teaching hatred to young Muslims for generations now, maybe we need to work on changing messengers. Those who preach hatred are the root cause of the problem. Remove the root cause and you eventually fix the problem.

Considering the challenges we face with radical Islam perhaps it’s time to take another look at how we are addressing the radicalization of young Muslims by the Muslim Mosque Leaders and Madrasa teachers, who have been poisoning the minds of generations of young Muslim men.

Maybe it’s time to go back on offense.

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