Why We're Losing the War on Terror

George Washington's picture

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RunningMan's picture

The US can not afford to be the policeman to the world. One need only look to the challenges on our own shores (unemployment, mortgage fiasco, etc.) to realize we have no business policing foreign shores until we get our house in order. This is still (for all the economic 'horrors' rightly expounded on this site) a great country - I think we ought to keep it great by focusing on what matters: Self sufficiency, productivity, freedom. Exporting either democracy (or inflation) does not seem to be a long term play -  you cannot police a nation into wanting freedom. So let's stop wasting precious resources (lives, $) on long duration, ill-defined police actions with the military.  For the record, WW3 is upon us now and it is an economic and currency war.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Y'all need to get out more.

No one I know gets their feelings hurt by being called imperialist. Not one.

And since anti-american douchebags will call us that no matter what we do, we might as well get on with earning it.

You will really hate it if we ever live down to your slander.

Real empire will follow the Republic. Stand by.

Bartanist's picture

Can anyone please answer the following questions for me: What is the "greater purpose" served by having/creating enemies?

Wars for resources have been going on forever. Is that the justification for vilifying someone whose resources you want to take? Does that make actual sense in Afghanistan? Make sense for whom?

StychoKiller's picture

It always appears less expensive to take resources by force, especially if you don't really care about the "collateral damage!"

Matto's picture

All sounds a bit communist to me.

BigDuke6's picture

The chosen path was clear when bush went after iraq instead of getting bin laden in afganistan.

they had him and they let him slip away.



it was obvious saddam was just a run of the mill strongman, of the type particular to the region for centuries.  why would he help bin laden?

and so it all went to shit , pass the wilfred owen poems 

kwvrad's picture

its all about the oil pipeline and infastructure(roads , rails) , and natural resources there. PERIOD !

Azannoth's picture

There are only 2 real reasons the USA in in Afganistan, Drugs and Oil, and no this isnt a cliche look it up

Snidley Whipsnae's picture


The third reason is to deny our competitors access to the oil/nat gas of the region. This is a lame, misguided, and enormously expensive attempt to limit growth of the BRICs. As the US economy continues to weaken these many bases and troops will be too much of a burden on the US economy to sustain. Checkmate!


Escapeclaws's picture

Damn it, I'm all confused. I was beginning to think it's the Chinese who are our enemies, now. Or is it the North Koreans? Now we find out it's still the Muslims. How can any one keep up? Meanwhile, the younger generation is becoming the enemy of the older generation over Social Security. And the Elite is the enemy of the middle class as they conduct their sub rosa warfare by debauching the dollar. It's all too much for an ordinary schmuck to deal with.

Woops, forgot the Russians, especially if they ally with Chinese. And then there's the French, always poking a stick in our eye. We should just nuke the whole planet in one go.


Bartanist's picture

I think you have hit upon the real point... "polarization". It ONLY makes sense to me if someone benefits by dividing the people of this world and creating conflict between us.

Do we need war, conflict and polarization? If we do, then it would help to understand why? If we do not need it, then the question is why is it foisted upon us and what do we need to do to stop it? 

laosuwan's picture

islam is the most successful codified theory of warfare in mankind's history. this is a fact as any glance at a map or history book or the writings of islamic historians and scholars can testify. while it is true that policitcal leaders have always used war for multiple objectives and the present leaders of the usa are corrupt and profiting from the war they engage in this does not change the fact that islam hypocracy to say they are being invaded when they themselves are invading countries across africa, asia eastern and central erope and in a politcal war front in western europe. the first islam attacks against the usa occured during rthe presidency of thomas jefferson long before there was an israel or military adventure by the usa. the fact is that even if the usa had never invaded any countries there woudl still be a war against the usa by islam. this must not be overlooked when condeming the treason and corruiption of usa political leaders who profit from the wars they put their troops in.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"islam is the most successful codified theory of warfare in mankind's history."

Baloney; see Sun Tzu's 'The Art Of War' written about 500 BC.

Was it the Muslims that launched multiple crusades into the Mid East, oh wait, it was the Christians of Europe!

"the first islam attacks against the usa occured during rthe presidency of thomas jefferson long before there was an israel or military adventure by the usa"

The several 'Barbary Wars' were caused by primarily Morrocan pirates attacking shipping of all nations and taking hostage the crews for ransom. Muslims did not single out the US for piracy for the Europeans had for centuries collected funds for the ransoming of the kidnapped European crews. Your distortion of history is disingenous at best and pure bs at worst. BTW, priracy was the unofficial policy of many christian and muslim countries during the era of the Barbary wars. You do recall the Brits preying on the Spanish Galleons laden with booty from the new world, right? Port towns around the world were fortified for good reason, to prevent raids of piracy on the ports and the taking of slaves and treasure.

"islam hypocracy to say they are being invaded when they themselves are invading countries across africa, asia eastern and central erope and in a politcal war front in western europe"

Yes, the muslim countries are invading bordering lands in response to the invasions of the christians of the Muslim countries. Who would expect any different reaction? The Muslims are hitting the christians where they can since they do not posess the modern militaries of the Western powers.

"present leaders of the usa are corrupt and profiting from the war they engage in "

Well, you got this last bit right. Congrats!





laosuwan's picture

"islam is the most successful codified theory of warfare in mankind's history." Baloney; see Sun Tzu's 'The Art Of War' written about 500 BC.


Art of War is a philosophy not a codified set of laws. Anyway, how much territory have the Han conqured with there strategy versus how much has islam conquored?


Was it the Muslims that launched multiple crusades into the Mid East?


Yes, it was. For example they invaded Malta, overan Sicily, advanced all the way to Vienna Austria where they were finally defeated. The “Christian” crusades were a response to the islamic invasion of the jewish, christian and pagan lands of the near east and middle east. Do you not know why it was that Spain comissioned Columbus to find an alternative route to the far east?


It is true that Muslims did not single out the US for piracy; they singled out all non muslims. If you read Thomas Jefferson’s first and second address to congress he explains that the ambassador from tripoli told him that enslavement of americans and attacks on the ships was a relgious duty incomumbent on all muslims according to the koran to wage war on the unbelievers. For a time, tribute money was one of the largest budget items of the usa.



You say that the muslims are invading bordering lands in response to the invasions of the christians of the Muslim countries but you fail to explain why this is happening in every single land in the world where muslims are present in numbers not just in those where there is some conflict, and you also fail to point out that the muslims are invaders in the countries where they are bordering others in the first place. Look at the Balkans, for example, the muslims there are Turkish!


"present leaders of the usa are corrupt and profiting from the war they engage in " Well, you got this last bit right. Congrats!


And you got one right, too.








snowman's picture

Not sure why this blog entry is in ZH. Since time began some people are always gonna be pissed someone they don't like is in their backyard. You will most surely find more people who think it is ok. Does everyone in that region want us out and the Taliban back?

I look a this with a simple question: Does our presence in AfPak/Iraq create investment opportunities? So I follow homeland security and defense companies and indices to see if there are any. So far so good, UTX, XLI, NOC for instance. Go Defense! 

(disclaimer: long on the aforementioned, and retired USMC)

tim73's picture

The day all of this crap is coming home to roost is close, really close. Then you amoral scum will experience the same shit your country is causing to others with your endless stupid wars.

AnAnonymous's picture

A bit stupid.

The war on terrorism can not be lost as it is not a war against terrorism.

The US will maintain its occupation as long as it serves its prosperity scheme.

The US only legacy is duplicity.

tony bonn's picture

as long as the necon murderers are running policy - and they are despite rockefeller buttboy obama's illegal occupancy of the white house - there will be murder in the middle east.

what nation on earth needs over 2000 military bases to protect itself? especially when it is irretrievably on the road to bankruptcy?

i am no muslim or even sympathisizer but i do not blame them for being furious over our occupation and interference into their affairs...

fuck the cia and military industrial complex.

tim73's picture

USA is about to collapse and the biggest worry will be the domestic terrorists aka hillibilly militias. FBI has warned about them for a long time now and especially after Obama became president, those hate groups have mushroomed.

Bartanist's picture

You mean people defending themselves are a danger to government? I suppose it could be looked at a number of ways.

Do the so called hillbilly militias pose a threat to you? Are they the kind of people who will go out and attack others? My guess is no. They most likely just want to be able to live their lives without being terrorized.

Bear's picture

So the biggest threat to America is 'hillibilly militias'? The're going to go out and kill people? How about the drug mafias ... any problem with them .. they do kill people. And hate groups have multiplied since Obama took office ... the 'Hate America' groupies in DC

Troy Ounce's picture


It evolves about that one word that is lacking in America's foreign policy: compassion.

Apparently, America does not have a clue but what's worse, they are unable to change it.


Not sure: too much testosterone? Anger? Power? Bad self image?...You tell me.

BeerGoggles's picture

" the root of the problem is foreign military occupations."

Wow, someone had to research that? I could have told you that years ago.

Having seen some of the responses posted about the net by Americans living in the middle states, there are a few things you can add to the research...

palmereldritch's picture

The War on Drugs = The War on Terror = The War on Carbon = The War on You

War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. 
Smedley Butler 


Coldfire's picture

The War on Terror causes blowback? Well, duh. It is also the path to untold wealth for a miniscule few. Connect the fucking dots.

RockyRacoon's picture

Excellent work, GW. 

A nice follow up would be to follow the money and see who benefits.

Qui bono!

Bartanist's picture

The only reason I would disagree with the premise is that the people driving these decisions do not need money. They probably crave more power, but I still have to think that there is more to it.

I think we are led to believe we have found the solution when we find the people who benefit monetarily... but it is probably still just a smokescreen.

Example: Silverstein (coincidentally) benefited immensely from the destruction of the World Trade Center. However, it is most likely that was his payment from the real powers that be to achieve their goal. (Oh, wait, it was all a coincidence ... I forget)

FDR's picture

Those SAIS boys aint in it for money - it's ideological, just as it is for Bin Laden's bunch.  The destabilization of Russia, China, India via terrorism and micro-state/ethnic seccesion combined with America's downfall will return the world to a simpler time - like a new Middle Ages. 

williambanzai7's picture

You cannot lump all of these conflicts into one "Terrorist War" barrel.

The one lesson we did not learn from Vietnam is don't get into a War unless you are prepared to commit the massive resources necessary to win decisively.

10 years putzing around in Afghanistan have gone no where. We certainly do have more enemies because the longer the War the greater the collateral damage.

I would argue that the Waziristan is not Pakistani territory since they cannot control it. It is another Somalia. It has been literally for centuries.

Go in and catch the motherfuckers, then pack up and leave everyone to live their own lives. Those Waziris are people of the vendetta. The longer we fuck up their lives the more enemies we make.

AchtungAffen's picture

The lesson you should have learned from Vietnam was what most of the world learned after WWII: You can't advance your political goals by means of war. Few countries still believe nowadays the contrary, one being the US. But I know it's easier to stick to your guns (the measure of your percieved freedom) and blame those darkies who speak like pakapaka and worship something that ain't no jeesas. It's harder to think, I know. Peace seems so hard when you have so many guns, right?

nmewn's picture

"Go in and catch the motherfuckers, then pack up and leave everyone to live their own lives. Those Waziris are people of the vendetta."


midtowng's picture

We DID commit massive resources in Vietnam. We dropped more bombs on that little nation than all the bombs we dropped in WWII. We stationed half a million men there.

The lesson we should have learned was not to get into a war we have no business being in. We still haven't learned it.

Confused's picture

All too true. WE don't have BUSINESS there...but rest assured, someone does. And WE are there for that purpose. 

StychoKiller's picture

Drugs, guns, or Oil, take your pick. :>(

George Washington's picture

The U.S. admits there are only a small handful of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As ABC notes:

U.S. intelligence officials have concluded there are only about 100 al Qaeda fighters in the entire country.

With 100,000 troops in Afghanistan at an estimated yearly cost of $30 billion, it means that for every one al Qaeda fighter, the U.S. will commit 1,000 troops and $300 million a year...

If you want a military solution, Andrew J. Bacevich has an answer.

Bacevich is no dove. Graduating from West Point in 1969, he served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He then held posts in Germany, including the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the United States, and the Persian Gulf up to his retirement from the service with the rank of Colonel in the early 1990s. Bacevich holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University prior to joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998. Bacevich's is a military family. On May 13, 2007, Bacevich's son, was killed in action while serving in Iraq.

Last year, Bacevich wrote in an article in Newsweek:

Meanwhile, the chief effect of allied military operations there so far has been not to defeat the radical Islamists but to push them across the Pakistani border. As a result, efforts to stabilize Afghanistan are contributing to the destabilization of Pakistan, with potentially devastating implications. September's bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad suggests that the extremists are growing emboldened. Today and for the foreseeable future, no country poses a greater potential threat to U.S. national security than does Pakistan. To risk the stability of that nuclear-armed state in the vain hope of salvaging Afghanistan would be a terrible mistake.

All this means that the proper U.S. priority for Afghanistan should be not to try harder but to change course. The war in Afghanistan (like the Iraq War) won't be won militarily. It can be settled—however imperfectly—only through politics.

The new U.S. president needs to realize that America's real political objective in Afghanistan is actually quite modest: to ensure that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda can't use it as a safe haven for launching attacks against the West. Accomplishing that won't require creating a modern, cohesive nation-state. U.S. officials tend to assume that power in Afghanistan ought to be exercised from Kabul. Yet the real influence in Afghanistan has traditionally rested with tribal leaders and warlords. Rather than challenge that tradition, Washington should work with it. Offered the right incentives, warlords can accomplish U.S. objectives more effectively and more cheaply than Western combat battalions. The basis of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan should therefore become decentralization and outsourcing, offering cash and other emoluments to local leaders who will collaborate with the United States in excluding terrorists from their territory.

This doesn't mean Washington should blindly trust that warlords will become America's loyal partners. U.S. intelligence agencies should continue to watch Afghanistan closely, and the Pentagon should crush any jihadist activities that local powers fail to stop themselves. As with the Israelis in Gaza, periodic airstrikes may well be required to pre-empt brewing plots before they mature.

Were U.S. resources unlimited and U.S. interests in Afghanistan more important, upping the ante with additional combat forces might make sense. But U.S. power — especially military power — is quite limited these days, and U.S. priorities lie elsewhere.

Rather than committing more troops, therefore, the new president should withdraw them while devising a more realistic — and more affordable — strategy for Afghanistan

In other words, America's war strategy is increasing instability in Pakistan. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. So the surge could very well decrease not only American national security but the security of the entire world.

I think that diplomatic rather than military means should be used to kill or contain the 100 bad guys in Afghanistan. But if we are going to remain engaged militarily, Bacevich's approach is a lot smarter than a surge of boots on the ground.

Neurolama's picture

This is the biggest piece of crap ever posted on ZH. I used to respect Washington but I have many bright friends that dismiss his him for faulty data and conclusions. Occupation contributes to the problem - fact. Israel IS attacked by Lebanaonon through middle attacks from terroristsv- fact. Moderate Iskam and it's failure ton address it's fractious, crazy extremists is the REAL problem - fact! C'mon!!!

Neurolama's picture

This is the biggest piece of crap ever posted on ZH. I used to respect Washington but I have many bright friends that dismiss his him for faulty data and conclusions. Occupation contributes to the problem - fact. Israel IS attacked by Lebanon through missle attacks from terrorists at the southern border by terrorists backed by Syria and tacitly by the Syran controlled Lebanese government- fact. Moderate Islam and it's failure to address it's fractious, crazy extremists is the REAL problem - fact! C'mon!!!

SamuelMaverick's picture

+1.  GW's posts are entertaining, but mostly poorly thought out liberal lefty juvenile kiddy college puke.  Not even worth replying to.

Bartanist's picture

You actually agree with the principle, but seemingly you disagree with who are the invaders in the Israel, Palestine and Lebanon area. Who is defending their homeland?

I don't know where you call home, but if armed invaders occupied your country (or state), say for example the state of Ohio in the US, would you be willing to sacrifice yourself and possibly even your entire family to get rid of them?

Here, in the US, the so called leaders, tell us that we must sacrifice our children so that they can be sent off to some foreign land to become killers of innocent people who have never done us any harm... and to possibly be killed by those people as they defend their homeland and their way of life... with weapons financed by international bankers.

But the politicians telling us this are not really the ones who set this policy. We are then led to believe it is really a conspiracy of greed driven businessmen and bankers. And, even that does not make sense to me.

Muslims may be a threat ... but I wonder to whom and why?!? This is the key question that needs to be answered. My guess is that it will never end until the oppressed find the head of the snake and are able to cut it off.

midtowng's picture

Some people won't hear the truth even when it makes perfect sense.

We invade, occupy, and bomb nations that have done nothing to us, and you think the problem isn't things that we've done, its their religion.

George Washington's picture

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski - the guy who CREATED the Mujahidin in Afghanistan - told the Senate that the war on terror is "a mythical historical narrative."

FDR's picture

You're quite right about the vast majority of the Muslim world being motivated by antagonism to U.S. military presence, with the jihadists piggy-backing on that sentiment.  The architects of our policy are well aware of this.  Look at Zbigniew Bzerzinski's 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: the U.S. will become the predominant military power in the Eurasian heartland, but to legitimize this incursion there would have to be a Pearl Harbor-like event against us that could be traced to the region.  The year after he wrote that book he told a French publication that his Afghanistan policy as NSC chief for Carter (creation of the jihadist network around Bin Laden, the Saudis, Pakistani ISI, etc.) was nothing to worry about, as a bunch of "stirred up Muslims" was an insignificant issue compared to hurting the Soviets.  Durden posted a Yossef Bodansky article on this topic: the heroin-cash-weapons network stretching from Central Asia to the Balkans.  The Bzerzinkski bunch has sponsored these networks every step of the way: the Afghan war of 1978-89, Chechen Foreign Minister Akhmadov being sponsored in his new life in D.C. by Zbig himself, Albright and Holbrooke guiding our Balkans intervention (like the Kosovo war which empowered the heroin-trafficking KLA.)  Sidenote: when I was attending Johns Hopkins, the dean of our foreign policy school (SAIS) was Paul Wolfowitz and the faculty included Bzerzinski, Francis Fukuyama, and Robert Zoellick (our trade rep. for Bush, he's now pres. of World Bank).  SAIS has also graduated Madeleine Albright, David Manning (Tony Blair's advisor who authored Downing Street Memo getting Brits into 2003 Iraq war), and April Glasspie (gave Saddam Hussein "green light" for 1990 Kuwait invasion.)  SAIS is writing our foreign policy.

jesusonline's picture

I find it funny that in the XX century and still counting US had only 1 world chess champion - Fischer. and you know what relationship he had with the States.

"The Grand Chessboard", my ass.

Also, yes, Francis Fukuyama, The end of history and the last man...

The very people who view themselves as Grandmasters of the whole fucking Universe 1) can't play chess, 2) can't see what's around the corner.  

The Paul Krugmans of the geopolitics, lo and behold!

Bartanist's picture

Interesting. The question is always WHY? Is it simply the game that people who think THEY are the only grown-ups play. Or are they delusional sociopaths?

Conrad Murray's picture

Why would anyone have to do a study to come to the conclusion that occupying a country will lead to insurrection?  Does anyone seriously question this?  Fuck these wars and anyone that thinks they're about anything other than securing resources.

Al Qaeda has started producing a digital publication titled "Inspire".  There are two issues out now, one was just released a week or two ago.  Anyone that is interested in the conflicts over there should read those magazines.  They're available on a few websites if you search it out.  Get a glimpse inside their minds(or the spooks that are posing as them?).

OT: Mr. Washington, no idea if you've seen this painter before, but I think you might enjoy his work: