Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Iraq: one front in the Middle East Theater of the Global War on Terrorism

Wretchard over at Belmont Club notes that current events are putting Iraq back in the broader context of the Middle East Theater of the wider Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). While the media has focused on Iraq, covert actions and diplomacy have been ongoing elsewhere. He points out that terrorists put everything into stopping the January 31 Iraqi election. And failed. And that failure has emboldened dissidents across the region. Money quote:
'Militant' groups have often attempted to stabilize the front whenever events threatened to take a direction which they could not control. This usually took the form of a spoiling terrorist attack to re-mire things in blood, chaos and hatred as often happened during negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. It would not be surprising if the terror masters fell back on this old repertoire by staging attacks directed not only at Middle Eastern targets but at the United States to throw back the threatening psychological wave. The problem is that there is no longer any widespread confidence, even in the places like Lebanon, that terror tactics will prevail. To that extent even the most heinous attacks, like the carbomb which recently killed more than 100 in Iraq, have lost their bite. Psychologically speaking, the greatest contribution of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns is that they have shattered terrorism's myth of invincibility. The terrorists embarked on a maximum effort to dislodge the US from Iraq, employing every weapon of violence, political maneuver and propaganda they could muster and came up much the worse for wear. This lesson has not been lost to public perception and has emboldened dissidents all across the region.

The real challenge will be to find ways to respond to the campaign of spoiling terror which may be forthcoming. Unlike Iraq, where US forces can respond directly to challenge, the problem will be the ability of the US to affect events over the wider region in clandestine or indirect ways. Tempo is America's friend, but the enemy is even now looking for a place to stem the rot.
Read the whole thing.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home