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Subject: A Foundation For the War On Terror
11b10    2/6/2004 7:01:54 PM
On another board on which I post on I found this Article. It is about one of the men who may have been instrumental in the formation of a Grand Strategy to fight this war (War On Terror) in the ME and elsewhere. When thinking about this war I think in terms of the Cold War, which included Korea, Vietnam etc. Conflicts fought to assure Containment. There were many players in the Containment Strategy, there seemed to be many moves and strategies within the larger Strategy. When posting about individual events in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq do you try to connect them to this Strategy? Do you think an outline for the War on Terror may have come from the Containment Strategy of the Cold War? Would you think a law enforcement slant would work or would it be to reactive, not proactive enough and cause terrible harm to the US? Please read this article, it may be a missing link it was for me.,,SB107576070484918411-IBje4Nklah3m5uvZ32GcKiEm4,00.html
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Elbandeedo    RE:A Foundation For the War On Terror - subscription only   2/11/2004 6:05:10 AM
I was looking forward to reading it too... E.
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11b10    RE:A Foundation For the War On Terror - A Different Link   2/11/2004 3:07:57 PM
Sorry E. here is a different link. The mans name is Benard Lewis. He was invited to speak to the President right after 9/11. The article does not format well or I would just post it, if you still can't link to it let me know I will post it. Another good article on the historical roots of American Grand Strategy.
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11b10    RE:A Foundation For the War On Terror-Here is the #*** Article.   2/11/2004 3:26:46 PM
Bernard Lewis's Blueprint -- Sowing Arab Democracy -- Is Facing a Test in Iraq Bernard Lewis often tells audiences about an encounter he once had in Jordan. The Princeton University historian, author of more than 20 books on Islam and the Middle East, says he was chatting with Arab friends in Amman when one of them trotted out an argument familiar in that part of the world. "We have time, we can wait," he quotes the Jordanian as saying. "We got rid of the Crusaders. We got rid of the Turks. We'll get rid of the Jews." Hearing this claim "one too many times," Mr. Lewis says, he politely shot back, "Excuse me, but you've got your history wrong. The Turks got rid of the Crusaders. The British got rid of the Turks. The Jews got rid of the British. I wonder who is coming here next." The vignette, recounted in the 87-year-old scholar's native British accent, always garners laughs. Yet he tells it to underscore a serious point. Most Islamic countries have failed miserably at modernizing their societies, he contends, beckoning outsiders -- this time, Americans -- to intervene. Call it the Lewis Doctrine. Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis's diagnosis of the Muslim world's malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years. The occupation of Iraq is putting the doctrine to the test. For much of the second half of the last century, America viewed the Mideast and the rest of the world through a prism shaped by George Kennan, author of the doctrine of "containment." In a celebrated 1947 article in Foreign Affairs focused on the Soviet Union, Mr. Kennan gave structure to U.S. policy in the Cold War. It placed the need to contain Soviet ambitions above all else. Terrorism has replaced Moscow as the global foe. And now America, having outlasted the Soviets to become the sole superpower, no longer seeks to contain but to confront, defeat and transform. How successful it is at remolding Iraq and the rest of the Mideast could have a huge impact on what sort of superpower America will be for decades to come: bold and assertive -- or inward, defensive and cut off. As mentor and informal adviser to some top U.S. officials, Mr. Lewis has helped coax the White House to shed decades of thinking about Arab regimes and the use of military power. Gone is the notion that U.S. policy in the oil-rich region should promote stability above all, even if it means taking tyrants as friends. Also gone is the corollary notion that fostering democratic values in these lands risks destabilizing them. Instead, the Lewis Doctrine says fostering Mideast democracy is not only wise but imperative. After Sept. 11, 2001, as policy makers fretted urgently about how to understand and deal with the new enemy, Mr. Lewis helped provide an answer. If his prescription is right, the U.S. may be able to blunt terrorism and stabilize a region that, as the chief exporter of oil, powers the industrial world and underpins the U.S.-led economic order. If it's wrong, as his critics contend, America risks provoking sharper conflicts that spark more terrorism and undermine energy security. After the terror attacks, White House staffers disagreed about how to frame the enemy, says David Frum, who was a speechwriter for President Bush. One group believed Muslim anger was all a misunderstanding -- that Muslims misperceived America as decadent and godless. Their solution: Launch a vast campaign to educate Muslims about America's true virtue. Much of that effort, widely belittled in the press and overseas, was quietly abandoned. A faction led by political strategist Karl Rove believed soul-searching over "why Muslims hate us" was misplaced, Mr. Frum says. Mr. Rove summoned Mr. Lewis to address some White House staffers, military aides and staff members of the National Security Council. The historian recited the modern failures of Arab and Muslim societies and argued that anti-Americanism stemmed from their own inadequacies, not America's. Mr. Lewis also met privately with Mr. Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Mr. Frum says he soon noticed Mr. Bush carrying a marked-up article by Mr. Lewis among his briefing papers. A White House spokesman declined to comment. Says Mr. Frum: "Bernard comes with a very powerful explanation for why 9/11 happened. Once you understand it, the policy presents itself afterward." His exposition and the policies it helped set in motion heralded a decisive break with the doctrine that prevailed during the Cold War. Containment, Mr. Kennan said, had "nothing to do with outward histrionics: with threats or blustering or superfluous gestures of outward 'toughness.' " It rested on the somber calculation that even the most aggressive enemy wouldn't risk its own demise by provoking war with a powerful U.S. AMERICA ABROAD Some idea
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11b10    RE:US Grand Strategy A Historical LooK   2/11/2004 3:42:05 PM
Grand old policy A scholar argues that Bush's doctrine of preemption has deep roots in American history By Laura Secor, Globe Staff, 2/8/2004 EVERY PRESIDENT makes foreign policy. Only a select few, over the sweep of history, design what scholars term grand strategy. Grand strategy is the blueprint from which policy follows. It envisions a country's mission, defines its interests, and sets its priorities. Part of grand strategy's grandeur lies in its durability: A single grand strategy can shape decades, even centuries, of policy. Who, then, have been the great grand strategists among American statesmen? According to a slim forthcoming volume by John Lewis Gaddis, the Yale historian whom many describe as the dean of Cold War studies and one of the nation's most eminent diplomatic historians, they are John Quincy Adams, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and George W. Bush. Gaddis knows the latter name may bring a number of his colleagues up short. Critics charge that President Bush is a lightweight, Gaddis laments, and they do so because the president is a generalist who prefers the big picture to its details. Over lunch at Mory's, Yale's tweedy private dining club, Gaddis suggests that academics underrate Bush because they overvalue specialized knowledge. In reality, as his new book asserts, after Sept. 11, 2001, Bush underwent "one of the most surprising transformations of an underrated national leader since Prince Hal became Henry V." The Bush doctrine is more serious and sophisticated than its critics acknowledge -- but it is also less novel, Gaddis maintains. Three of its core principles -- preemptive war, unilateralism, and American hegemony -- actually hark back to the early 19th century, to the time of John Quincy Adams. . . . Gaddis begins "Surprise, Security, and the American Experience" (Harvard, March) with the observation that thanks to its geographical isolation, the United States has experienced only three surprise attacks on its soil: the British burning of Washington in 1814, Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the terrorist attacks in 2001. Each time, American leaders responded by rethinking grand strategy. After the British attack on Washington, Gaddis recounts, John Quincy Adams, then secretary of state to James Monroe, perceived that weakly governed states along US borders invited dangers, whether from marauding bands of Native Americans, pirates, and escaped slaves in Florida (before General Andrew Jackson invaded it in 1817), or from European powers who might seize vulnerable territories such as California as staging grounds from which to threaten the United States. And so America achieved its security through territorial expansion -- by filling a perceived power vacuum before hostile powers could do so. Gaddis describes the invasions of such territories as "preemptive." Adams's grand strategy remained in force throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. But its emphasis on preemption and unilateralism (the dictate that the United States had best avoid "entangling alliances") fell by the wayside after World War II. These were not doctrines fitting to the new position the United States occupied in the postwar world -- one where the European powers had been decimated, America possessed a monopoly on nuclear weapons, and the Soviet Union, an erstwhile ally, had become a powerful new adversary. Franklin D. Roosevelt's grand strategy for the postwar era was to secure the United States by securing the world. Free markets and self-determination would safeguard against future European wars. But FDR was also a hardheaded strategist who never intended to relinquish the United States' new hold on power. He imagined that the world's strongest states -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and China -- would function as "four policemen" to maintain the peace. The United Nations Security Council made that arrangement, as Gaddis wrote in 1972, "less repugnant to internationalists." The postwar United States extended its sphere of influence partly through generous economic aid, partly through the alliance system, and largely by the consent of the states in its orbit. So long as the Soviet Union was around, small states always knew that there was something worse than American domination. The end of the Cold War changed all that -- and found the United States without a grand strategy. President Bill Clinton, says Gaddis, thought that "globalization and democratization were irreversible processes, therefore we didn't need a grand strategy. Clinton said as much at one point. I think that was shallow. I think they were asleep at the switch." Enter Prince Hal. The Bush administration, marvels Gaddis, undertook a decisive and courageous reassessment of American grand strategy following the shock of the 9/11 attacks. At his doctrine's center, Bush placed the democratization of the Middle East and the urgent need to prevent terrorists and rogue states from getting nucle
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ex-expat    RE:A Foundation For the War On Terror   2/11/2004 3:42:10 PM
I wasn't able to access the article either - but is your question related to whether the strategy to contain communism may be similar to, or applicable to, a strategy to contain terror? And are you terming "terror" in a general term or Islamic terrorists - since you didn't mention that term. But to me it's a foregone conclusion that we are not fighting a generalized war on terror, but rather an insidious form of terror bred from radical Isalmic groups. Generally, containment of communism had a pretty good handle on the source (either the USSR/China). So far we haven't got such a good handle on the sources from which all these Islamic groups (including Hamas/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad, as well as Al Queda)draw their support. My position and one that gets under the skin of some on this forum has been we have been looking under the wrong beds and in the wrong closets in Iraq to find the sources of support for those who perpetrated 9/11. If we had the "red scare" in the 1950s because of possible communists in our midst, that is nothing compared with the problem facing us worldwide today regarding Islamic terorists. Maybe in this case even France may have taken the first logical steps to getting a handle on the spread of the most virulent strains of Islam. But hell, we can't even "profile" here because of civil rights - so old grandmas are getting searched to get on an airplane.
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11b10    RE:A Foundation For the War On Terror   2/11/2004 4:16:21 PM
Quote "And are you terming "terror" in a general term or Islamic terrorists " Islamic Terrorist. Quote "Generally, containment of communism had a pretty good handle on the source (either the USSR/China). So far we haven't got such a good handle on the sources from which all these Islamic groups (including Hamas/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad, as well as Al Queda)draw their support. Containment as an example of Grand Strategy. The current Grand Strategy would in my terms be Aggressive Preemption. Iraq would be a strategic move within a Grand Strategy of Aggressive Preemption. In my mind Kerry's plan of the Law Enforcement approach to The War on Terror is reactive instead of preemptive and will not work. I have posted the articles below. I could not get the links to work.
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ex-expat    RE:A Foundation For the War On Terror   2/11/2004 5:42:39 PM
Well in would appear that such strategy a of "Agressive Pre-emption" opens a Pandora's Box of endless pre-emtive strikes. I seriously doubted that Saddam hosted more terrorists than Syria or Egypt, and certainly not as many as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. Now I know some on this forum are still shifting gears about Iraq (first it was WMD, then terrorism, now humanitarian nation-building) - but if Iraq, who may not have been as big a supporter of terrorists as others is the first step in this grand strategy - are we to expect similar treatment to nations who are even more rife with terrorists?
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SGTObvious    Similar treatment for other nations, expat   2/11/2004 5:56:56 PM
"are we to expect similar treatment to nations who are even more rife with terrorists" One can hope. One can hope that the lesson will sink in and it won't be necessary, but that's doubtful, so there is a good chance that we will see the war broaden. Bear in mind, there were more nazis in Germany than in Africa, but strategic considerations led to the invasion of Africa first.
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