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Fighting the "poor man’s nuke"
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Yesterday I noted how each war is unique and how technology is adapted to the conditions or sometimes is so powerful it changes the conditions of warfare. Sometimes the technology is anything but high-tech.

Ralph Peters today discusses the perfect precision guided munition, the suicide bomber, and the challenges such a weapon brings to the type of asymentrical warfare now being waged in and around Iraq.

Other than the obvious questions of what to do about suicide bombers and how to defeat them tactically, Peters brings out the more pressing problem. How to stop them altogether.

That isn't a problem of tactics, but in this case, a problem of faith and religion and how to counter the message into which the suicide bomber has bought.
The suicide bomber views himself (more rarely, herself) as fulfilling a divine mission whose execution will be rewarded in paradise. How do we discourage an enemy who regards death as a promotion? How do we identify the religious madman among the masses in time to stop him from killing? On a practical level, defeating the increasing numbers of suicide bombers is our most difficult security mission.
Agreed. And not just because they are a security problem in Iraq. Instead because they will become a very real security problem elsewhere, and, it is believed by Peters (and myself) eventually here:
Except for 9/11, suicide bombers have conducted their missions abroad. That's going to change, but it's a credit to the patriotism and decency of American Muslims that none of our fellow citizens has strapped on a bomb and walked into a Wal-Mart. Nonetheless, our enemies will find a way to bring their deadly campaign back to our doorsteps.
Defense against that possibility leads us to some very controversial issues. Illegal immigration, border security, profiling, domestic surveillance, privacy rights. We're going to have to look at where the lines are presently drawn and whether we, as a society, are willing to redraw them and if so, where. But I agree with Peters, it's only a matter of time before it happens here.

Part of the reason it hasn't to this point, in my opinion, is the terrorists who would do such a thing have concentrated their efforts in Iraq. Let's face it, suicide bombers are just easier to employ there than they would be outside the Middle East. But, over the years, that focus will change, especially if the US is successful in Iraq. But Peters expects that to change once those who employ the suicide bombers realize it's full potential:
The suicide bomber is so powerful a weapon that not even the terrorists have realized its full potential. Today, we see intermittent, localized attacks. The suicide bomber is at the same stage of development as the tank was in World War I: Used in small numbers, armored vehicles did not achieve and sustain critical mass.

We need to prepare for the suicide-bomber blitzkrieg, when murderous zealots come at us in waves.
If this is what is to be expected, then how do you nip it in the bud? Well consider a little history first before discussing an answer:
The obvious forerunners of today's Islamist fanatics were the Assassins, the notorious cult that operated from Persia through Syria in the 11th and 12th centuries. Armed only with sacramental knives and patience, the Assassins terrorized governments by killing sultans and grand viziers. It took the invading Mongols — the all-time masters of counter-insurgency warfare — to destroy the Assassins in their mountain strongholds.

[...]

To be fair to the Assassins, they attacked only the mighty, not the masses. And, as Bernard Lewis, the giant of Middle Eastern studies at Princeton, pointed out, Islam's prohibition against suicide meant that yesteryear's murderers allowed themselves to be caught and suffer torture rather than kill themselves.
The highlighted line is the critical point of any strategy to defeat the suicide bomber. Before Islam was perverted by the present fanatics, suicide was widely understood to be prohibited by the religion. So, unfortunately, the answer also lies with Islam and out of our hands. All we can possibly do is somehow and in some way push moderate Islam in the direction of again making it plain and clear that those who do what the fanatics say they should do, do so at their own eternal peril.

That's a tall order. And, as Peters notes, one has to also counter the argument with which the suicide bombers are recruited:
But the new age of faith is also an era of the perversion of religion, from the primitive blood-cult evident in ritual beheadings to the rationalization of a suicide bomber's death — not as self-murder but the consequence of a brave attack in the conduct of holy war.
In their thinking, it's not "suicide", it's an "attack", although it is an "attack" much in the vein of the "forlorn hope" attacks the Brits used to mount, i.e. suicidal.

Peters also gives his assessment of who it is we face:
Deplore his act though we rightly do, the suicide bomber who imagines himself a defender of his threatened faith and humiliated people is the extremist equivalent of the soldier we revere for throwing himself on a grenade to save his comrades' lives. Our rules for self-sacrifice are different, but the psychology is uncomfortably familiar. The results may differ terribly, but the motivation has filial roots.

We see only the indiscriminate carnage, the apparent madness. Until we recognize his crazed valor, we cannot understand the suicide bomber. And it's much harder to defeat an enemy you don't understand.

Suicide bombers are recruited from the ranks of troubled souls, from those who find mundane reality overwhelming and terrifying. The suicide bomber longs for release from the insecurities of his daily experience. He is fleeing from life every bit as much as he's rushing toward paradise. He dreads women, sin and doubt.

Hypnotized by faith and excited to ecstasy, he can walk into a children's clinic and press a detonator. No heart-rending child's face will stop him. His god will forgive the innocent. Nothing matters but the divine will as interpreted by the masters of terror — the most brilliant psychologists of our time.
I'd note that most are fairly young. The younger among us, teens and early twenties, are usually the most easily influenced. They also are more likely, lacking the wisdom of age, to see problems they face in their life as insurmountable and overreact negatively in the face of them. It is they who, as Peters notes, "long for release from the insecurities of his daily life". This perversion of his (or her) religion and the promise of eternal reward for his life, provides that out.

Combine that with a culture which celebrates the death of its young as "martyrs" and rewards families who provide martyrs, and it remains a vicious and deadly cycle.

Until and unless mainstream Islam constantly, vigorously and consistently condemns this practice and makes it clear that there is no eternal reward, per their religion, for those who commit suicide, by whatever means, the culture will continue the practice. This relates back to a post last week which discusses how critical it is that this happen (and how I'm concerned that it can't happen until the religion is reformed).

As the op/ed I cited last week demonstrates, there are those in mainstream Islam that recognize the problem and are beginning to advance their ideas for a solution. But it can't be an occasional voice in the wilderness. It must become a constant cacophony calling what is being done a perversion and condemning it outright and without equivocation. Otherwise, there is very little hope of stopping the practice. And as Peters notes:
We have faced enemies more dangerous, but none so implacable.

The world's great strategic struggle of this century is between those who believe in a generous, loving god — in any religion — and those who serve a punitive, merciless deity.

The suicide bomber has chosen his side.
Indeed, or should I say, "amen".
 
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Personally, I think Suicide Bombings and terrorism in general are fairly ineffective strategies, in and of themselves. The US and Britain dumped several hundred thousand tons of bombs on Germany 1943-1945 and the will of the German People never broke. I don’t see terrorism and it’s sub-variant, suicide bombings as being any moe effective than firestorms in Hamburg and Dresden. If a hundred thousand tons of bombs didn’t break someone’s will, do terrorists really think that a few hundred POUNDS of explosives will?

The thinhing is based on the, I believe flawed notion, that "people today can’t take it like their parents." In the Second WOrld War the Brit’s thought they could "take it" but that the Germans wouldn’t be able to, and the Germans felt the same way.... it turns out neither side was right, both sides could "take it", albeit at a high cost. The reality is people can take a tremendous amount of damage and keep functioning, and so can their societies. Suicide bombings aren’t going to end anyone’s way of life.

Note, I am not dismissing the threat of terrorism or suicide bombings. I am NOT saying that more people died from car accidents in 2001 than died on 9/11 so what is the big deal? I am simply saying that to focus on suicide bombings and terrorism as dangers is mis-guided. Radical Islam/Islamism/Islomo-Fascism ARE threats, but as long as the main weapon in their arsenal is the suicide bomber they can not win.

Terror, as a part of an integrated campaign of insurrection and revolution can have a place in a group’s strategy. Terrorism and suicide bombings as a part of "armed propaganda" can be very useful for a revolutionary group. However, it requires more effort than simply "taking out" a Sbarro Pizza joint. It must be integrated with larger attacks, designed to drive the enemy from an area, a move to "Phase II" Operations. I don’t see terrorism, alone, producing the defeat of an opponent.

Much of Al-Quadea’s operations from the 1990’s was "Armed Propaganda" designed to draw attention, recruits and money to the "cause." The capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban was a significant advance for the cause of the Jihad. It was not the attacks per se that were important, but rather the attention they drew. The capture of an area that allowed the soldiers of the Caliphate to operte openly was, objectively, the much bigger advance, even if it did not attract quite so much media attention. The loss of that sanctuary hurt the cause a great deal. It’s loss knocked Al-Queada backed in its efforts to promote the Caliphate.

Secondly, Peterson may be over-estimating the threat, any way. Check out Dunnigan’s strategypage.com and there are numerous small articles on terrorism and suicide bombing in West Bank. According to them, the ISraelis have vastly lessened the terror bombing/suicide bombing threat. The focus is NOT the bomber, but the skilled labour, the bomb maker. A series of raids and strikes have disrupted the bomb-making capacity of many groups and this has resulted in the drastic reduction in the number of bombs and hence bombings in the West Bank.

The greatest damge that terror bombing does is not necessarily to its victims, but to its perpetrators, no joke intended. A culture/society that worships death and martyrdom is born and the results can be sterile and awful, look at Japan 1931-1945. Plus the use of kamikazes removes some of the best, if not brightest, from a society. Those dedicated enough to try to make a difference may very well die, rather than effect change.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
You mean "homicide bomber", right McQ? How to tactically defend against "homicide bombers"? Or is there something actually linguistically and semantically useful about the other phrase?

Snark off: interesting post, and thank you.
 
Written By: Mithras
URL: http://mithrastheprophet.blogspot.com
Part of the reason it hasn’t to this point, in my opinion, is the terrorists who would do such a thing have concentrated their efforts in Iraq
Shorter: Attacking Iraq is what saved us from further attacks here in the US.
I await the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth to commence.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Interesting post. The best way to fight a fanatic that sees the justification for his acts in his religion is to convince him that his religion does not permit such acts. That obviously requires the cooperation of the Muslim elite who will only react to pressure, and not volunteer. Finding the pressure points is the key.

Also, perhaps we can employ the tactics that General Pershing reportedly used in the Phillipines against the Muslim insurgency — burying the remains of any suicide bomber with pig entrails to make sure that he is "unclean" when he reaches the pearly gates! If you weaken a suicide bomber’s belief that he has Paradise and 72 virgins waiting for him, that will go a long way to diminishing his zeal to blow himself and every infidel/non-infidel in sight to smitereeens.
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
Personally, I think Suicide Bombings and terrorism in general are fairly ineffective strategies, in and of themselves.

Well it depends on what your goal may be. Recall, if you will, the effect those two yahoos known collectively as the "DC sniper" had in that area. To pretend they didn’t siginificantly effect the lives of many living in that area is to deny reality.

I’d also suggest you consider the effect of 9/11 on the airline industry. It still suffers the effect today.

Sometimes one well-placed bomb (or a series of well-placed bombs) is much more effective, than carpet bombings. And, I’d further suggest that the goal of a terror campaign probably isn’t as much to break the will of the people per se, but instead to effect and change the enviroment they live in to such an extent that is literally causes chaos within the system in which they live and allows the terrorists the ability and room to act in other areas unimpeded.

Since the terrorist can pick the time and place of his attack, he’s extremely difficult to defeat, and that’s doubly so when he’s willing to give up his life in the process.

That’s why I think the solution is with mainstream or moderate Islam and its reclaiming the faith based upon its doctrines.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Sometimes one well-placed bomb (or a series of well-placed bombs) is much more effective, than carpet bombings.
In the short run, yes, but it is a SUSTAINED campaign that delivers results, be it aerial bombardment or suicide bombings. ONE attack makes headlines, but within a few days the target has returned to normalcy. Only a sustained, even if targeted campaign of bombing/destruction brings long-term results.
And, I’d further suggest that the goal of a terror campaign probably isn’t as much to break the will of the people per se, but instead to effect and change the enviroment they live in to such an extent that is literally causes chaos within the system in which they live and allows the terrorists the ability and room to act in other areas unimpeded.
It is THIS point I dispute. I don’t see any terrorist campaign, in and of itself, that has produced this effect on any target nation, from Britain in the "Troubles" to Eretz-Israel in the post-1972 era.
That’s why I think the solution is with mainstream or moderate Islam and its reclaiming the faith based upon its doctrines.


Certainly this is true. But it takes some time. Time for alternative doctrines and modes of thought to be developed and time for those alternatives to be preached. Or rather it takes time for people to develop the nerve to preach them. Someone pointed out, once, that Islamism is hard combat in many mosques because it SEEMS so devout. It seems to speak against it is to speak against an "authentic" vision of Islam and a vision that appeals to the young. In time, people will come to see it for what it is, a call to a futile and bloody struggle that needs not be fought. It’s just waiting for the "tipping point" to be reached in many mosques.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
In the short run, yes, but it is a SUSTAINED campaign that delivers results, be it aerial bombardment or suicide bombings. ONE attack makes headlines, but within a few days the target has returned to normalcy. Only a sustained, even if targeted campaign of bombing/destruction brings long-term results.

Looking at Iraq, it’s rather hard to argue that those perpetrating the suicide bombings there have neither the will nor the ability to conduct a sustained campaign.

And, of course, it’s one thing to witness it in Iraq and altogether another to experience it in the US.

It is THIS point I dispute. I don’t see any terrorist campaign, in and of itself, that has produced this effect on any target nation, from Britain in the "Troubles" to Eretz-Israel in the post-1972 era.

Maybe because that wasn’t ghe goal in those campaigns. Maybe the goal in those campaigns was to simply inflict damage and death and demonstrate both a will and ability to do so. But its certainly plausible that terrorism could be employed in such a manner.

In time, people will come to see it for what it is, a call to a futile and bloody struggle that needs not be fought. It’s just waiting for the "tipping point" to be reached in many mosques.

I think you have a point here, a point which was demonstrated, for instance, in the petering out of the Palistinian intafada. The problem is, unlike the tiny enclave within the Muslim world which the Palestinians occupy, we’re now talking about the whole of the 1.3 billion Muslim worldwide community reaching such a tipping point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Maybe because that wasn’t ghe goal in those campaigns. Maybe the goal in those campaigns was to simply inflict damage and death and demonstrate both a will and ability to do so. But its certainly plausible that terrorism could be employed in such a manner.
Certainly it was the point. To drive the cost of "Occupation" up so high as to lead to the liberation of the occupied land(s). Yes, the hope was to force the occupier into such extreme counter-measures that the general populace ceased supporting the occupation policies, but even in that the terrorists failed. Certainly the PIRA and the PLO SAID they had a plan/purpose for their violence, the establishment of socialist/secular states in place of the status quo.
The problem is, unlike the tiny enclave within the Muslim world which the Palestinians occupy, we’re now talking about the whole of the 1.3 billion Muslim worldwide community reaching such a tipping point.


Are we? I don’t see 1.3 BILLION Muslims rising up to support OBl or to smite the US. I am not too sure that the Dar-al-Islam is really going to do that any time soon. It might, IF OBL?Al-Quaeda were to defeat the US in Iraq and/or Afghanistan and to then spread the Jihad to Saudi Arabia and other nations. In the case of vicotry feeding itslef THEN the Dar-al-Islam might join in the Jihad, but right now there doesn’t seem to be evidence of it. SOME members of the Muslim community in several nations have joined up with radical Islamists, but I have yet to see any evidence that Muslims, in general, support radical action... note action. You may HAR a lot of things at conferences, but saying and doing are two different things. As my ancestors say, "Talk is cheap. It takes money to buy whiskey"
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Personally, I think Suicide Bombings and terrorism in general are fairly ineffective strategies, in and of themselves."

So the people of Israel live just as they would if living in, say, Iowa?

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Certainly it was the point. To drive the cost of "Occupation" up so high as to lead to the liberation of the occupied land(s).

Was it? That isn’t at all clear, and it certainly isn’t clear, based on how the campaign was waged against the UK by the IRA, that it had any chance of success nor that it was its goal.

"The Troubles" mostly took place in Ireland and were at best reminicent of Iraq on a relatively peaceful day. They killed a little over 500 in 15 years, mostly in Ireland. Like I said, it’s one thing to witness such things in Iraq and quite another to experience such things here in the US.

There was no "sustained" campaign during "The Troubles" as we’ve seen in Iraq nor was it a campaign designed for maximum effect - i.e. a car bomb at a funeral in Iraq today killed more in a single event that the IRA killed in total in 9 of the 15 years of "The Troubles".

The difference being, unlike Islamic suicide bombers, these folks set and left bombs, and many times they phoned in a bomb threat. More in the realm of Basque separatists than fundamentalist Islamic suicide bombers. Hardly what we’re facing with radical Islam, is it? See Algeria. Now add suicide bombing.

As for Palestine, it certainly has had some effect hasn’t it, unless, like others, you consider the unilateral withdrawl from Gaza to be "good tactics" on the part of Israel.

Are we? I don’t see 1.3 BILLION Muslims rising up to support OBl or to smite the US.

Which is entirely beside the point. The point has to do with that community taking back Islam and rejecting those who have subverted it and its message ... that is unless they want to cede it to the radicals.

That is the fight, as noted in the post and in my comment. Unfortunately we can’t fight that fight for them, only use our influence to see that it is pursued.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So the people of Israel live just as they would if living in, say, Iowa?
Didn’t say that. I said, the PLO will not drive them into the sea with terror and suicide bombings and to think differently, on either side of the Green Line is foolish. Terrorists can kill thousands, over the years, but drive out the Occupiers? Not going to happen.
There was no "sustained" campaign during "The Troubles" as we’ve seen in Iraq nor was it a campaign designed for maximum effect - i.e. a car bomb at a funeral in Iraq today killed more in a single event that the IRA killed in total in 9 of the 15 years of "The Troubles".
Certainly there was. The PIRA chose its strategy deliberately. It was as sustained as it could be... just as the British mounted a sustained bombing campaign against Germany from 1940 on. It just wasn’t until 1943 that the UK managed to drop more weight of BOMBS on Germany than downed aircraft. The fact that neither terror campaign was succesful doesn’t mean it wasn’t as powerful as either group, Bomber Command or the PIRA, could make it. And no, I don’t mean to make a moral equivalence between the RAF and the PIRA.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Certainly there was. The PIRA chose its strategy deliberately. It was as sustained as it could be ...

There was not.

Just because you pop a few bombs off over a 15 year period (primarily in your own homeland and not that of your enemy) does not at all make that a "sustained campaign". See Iraq for a sustained campaign. And for a sustained campaign to do anything it must have an effect. A little over 500 people dead in 15 years is simply nothing in relative terms if the intent of the campaign is to terrorize people into letting you have your way.

Sorry ... no sale.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Just because you pop a few bombs off over a 15 year period (primarily in your own homeland and not that of your enemy) does not at all make that a "sustained campaign". See Iraq for a sustained campaign. And for a sustained campaign to do anything it must have an effect. A little over 500 people dead in 15 years is simply nothing in relative terms if the intent of the campaign is to terrorize people into letting you have your way.

Sorry ... no sale.


OK, it’s a belief thing, then. I believe the PIRA mounted a sustained campaign to drive the British out of the 6 northern counties and to establish a Marxist republic in Ireland. You disagree. Fine, though I would point out the phrase "15 year period" that would seem to imply a SUSTAINED campaign. The Indians had a SUSTAINED campaign to defeat the White men, too. Sustained doesn’t mean successful or well thought out, just that you maintained your goal and strategy consistently.

Now the Iraqi insurgents have access to larger amounts of ordnance, with a populace more in support of their goals, in a social milieu that promotes disorder and anarchy. The result is that their SUSTAINED campaign can be bigger and more deadly than the PIRA’s. However, both groups have the goal of driving out the occupier, via attrtion. I just don’t see IED’s or bombs in Tube driving anyone any where. I just see the resulting pool of shed blood being larger in Iraq than it was in Northern Ireland and the UK.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
McQ, great post and analysis. Would that the left could understand it and treat it seriously. But no, it’s all Bush’s fault.
 
Written By: Abu Qa’Qa
URL: http://
McQ, great post and analysis. Would that the left could understand it and treat it seriously. But no, it’s all Bush’s fault.


you mean it’s NOT?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"15 year period" that would seem to imply a SUSTAINED campaign ...

Not in my book. A sustained campaign is more than long. If the UK had occassionally bombed a few German cities over 6 years, no one in their right mind would have called it a "sustained bombing campaign". But it certainly would have been a 6 year long campaign.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
A sustained campaign is more than long. If the UK had occassionally bombed a few German cities over 6 years, no one in their right mind would have called it a "sustained bombing campaign". But it certainly would have been a 6 year long campaign.
Semantic/doctrinal difference I guess. If Britain had announced a policy of bombing German cities as a means to achieving a certain goal AND they followed up over 6 years, I’d call it a sustained campaign. I would agree with you that the adjectives "failed", "futile", or "Wretched" might ALSO be applied, but it would remain a sustained campaign. To me "sustained" means that it occupied a certain length of time and had a definite goal and was adopted, in part, as a conscious startegy to achieve that goal.

IF Britain had bombed Germany, invaded Occupied France, then gone back to bombing, and resorting to raids and finally name calling I’d agree that the bombing was not a sustained campaign, but merely episodic bouts of violence. But it wasn’t, in the case of the PIRA it wasn’t, in the case of the PLO/Black September/Hamas/Hizbollah it wasn’t and in the case of the Iraqi insurgency it isn’t, NOT merely a sporadic outburst but a series of acts desgned to achieve a goal. Again, I hasten to add, that I don’t support the goal, nor do I believe that the terror attacks can ultimately succeed, by themselves alone.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Again, I hasten to add, that I don’t support the goal, nor do I believe that the terror attacks can ultimately succeed, by themselves alone.

I imagine it depends on the goal of the terror attacks. See Spain.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I imagine it depends on the goal of the terror attacks. See Spain.
Good point. I didn’t consider that. Spain was a "soft" target in that regard, as to withdrawl from Iraq.

However, note ETA has NOT succeeded its sustained campaign for Basque Independence, which has involved terror and terror bombings, though not suicide bombings. So I guess the nature of the goal and the target’s commitment to that goal is.

Spain was not too keen on Iraq, but pretty keen on keeping the Basque areas of Spain.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Are we? I don’t see 1.3 BILLION Muslims rising up to support OBl or to smite the US
Nor do I see 1.3 billion Muslims rising up to smite him, as you say.

The question then becomes which lack is more important to the analysis?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Very interesting post and commentary.

I must address the issue of "bombing a country till its will breaks."

The argument is that Germany’s will did not break, but then again, we already said no negotiations would be acceptable, so they had no incentive but to hunker down and take it. (and there was a coup attempt against Hitler, though)

But what about Kosovo? Serbia caved in to a bombing campaign. Perhaps there was not enough will in the Serbian leadership, or our bombing is just that much more effective because we take out the nicer things in life like bridges, power, and water? Or because we had offered specifically to end it if we could intervene in Kosovo?

I guess the counter-argument would be bombing Germany was a kind of terror attack whereas bombing Serbia was not...

With Islamists, any sustained bomb campaign in the USA would probably make use even more determined to win....UNLESS they offered some reasonable position to negotiate to...say end military support for Israel. The problem is these guys have made so many statements about the Caliphate, East Timor, etc. that I doubt they will settle for any small concession, and anything bigger we won’t go for.

The Islamists are more like the 1890’s anarchist bombers (h/t Economist) in that their ideology is diffuse and their goals so extreme that they won’t achieve much.



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Do deal with suicide bombers we can do what works and follow the Israeli example to go after the bomb makers and the planners (like Joe says). Or we can reform a religion of 1.3 billion people to turn away from what they view as the Word of God infinite.

Seems to me that wishing for a reformation of Islam is like wishing for the second coming - it might happen, but not wise relying on it. I’d prefer to follow the Israeli example and degrade their ability to hurt us.



Case in point PIRA:

Just because you pop a few bombs off over a 15 year period (primarily in your own homeland and not that of your enemy) does not at all make that a "sustained campaign". See Iraq for a sustained campaign. And for a sustained campaign to do anything it must have an effect. A little over 500 people dead in 15 years is simply nothing in relative terms if the intent of the campaign is to terrorize people into letting you have your way.

They had a low volume campaign because they were constrained in what they could do, not because they were philosophically opposed to having an intense campaign. Their expertise was confined to a few people and these were under threat wherever they went. Their financing was not inexhaustable relying on donations from patriotic organisations of Irishmen and criminal activity. When OBL crashed the planes into NY this had a big negative effect on the amount Boston donated and increased law enforcement pressure, soon after they renounced violence decommissioning their weapons.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/

 
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