|Good analysis, until it reaches for an unsupportable conclusion that the Iraq invasion and occupation drove Al Qaeda to commit acts of terror in Saudi Arabia. It is reasonable to conclude that only the terrorists themselves would have a clue about whether they would or would not have begun what turned out to be unpopular acts of terror in Saudi Arabia if Iraq had not been occupied. That result tends to suggest the author is predisposed to consider the Iraq occupation as the most effective strategy in the war on terror regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
Such thinking is dangerous in military strategy. An historical example is Macarthur in Korea. Inchon was a brilliant move, but the belief that Mao and the PLA would not cross the Yalu to confront American lead forces directly was similarly based on the personal prejudice of Macarthur. If Macarthur had been willing to believe otherwise, he might have stopped and drawn a defensible line south of Hamhung and north of Wonsan on the East coast to somewhere south of Yongbyon (Rei-bi?) on the west coast. The result would have been an impotent rump communist state instead of the current problems that were inherited from Macarthur’s failure to seriously consider possibilities that contradicted his own beliefs. The point here is the definition of “belief”, to hold as true without direct knowledge or experience of that which is believed. I think the error in this article points out that much of our military analysis of the enemy is being done without sufficient understanding enemy’s mind and motivations.