Al-Qaeda’s strategy and struggles Posted by: mcq
on Thursday, February 16, 2006
Documents released by Special Operations Command through West Point's Combating Terrorism Center reveal some of the struggles of post 9/11 al-Qaeda. Also revealed is the strategic goal, or "end game" for al-Queda:
The documents show al-Qaeda is committed to waging a holy war against "dictators of the Earth and secular groups" that will end only when "everyone believes in Allah."
Well, there you go. And of course, that means "by any means necessary". It also means that those who refuse to "believe" will be summarily killed. Fairly simple, fairly straight forward, and something which should remove all doubt as to what the west faces in the WoT.
Al-Qaeda also has minimum requirements for being a terrorist training camp supervisor:
An al-Qaeda planning document that lays out the structure of the organization says the qualifications for being a supervisor at a terrorist training camp include two years of service in a jihadi struggle, a high school degree, some scientific and military knowledge and "sobriety."
Of course the latter requirement leaves me out, but resumes are being accepted. Interestingly it fits much of our military. I guess the "Allah" thing is optional? Just kidding.
If you think the Bush White House has a PR problem, they're not alone:
Many documents show al-Qaeda leaders discussing the need for a successful public relations strategy. In June 2000, an operative named Abu Huthaifa writes a mentor that al-Qaeda needs to fix problems in its "informational and political efforts," failings that are "killers of the movement."
Yeah, they haven't found a successful way to make car bombing other muslims a "positive" thus far. Go figure.
Last, but not least, leadership, and especially Osama bin Laden, comes in for some criticism:
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is also criticized in some documents. One letter by operative Abd-al-Halim Adl in June 2002 challenges bin Laden's leadership and blames him for the "misfortune and disaster" brought on by post-9/11 U.S. military actions.
Adl asks the recipient, identified only as Mukhtar, to urge bin Laden to change course and "stop all foreign actions, stop sending people to captivity, stop devising new operations."
In other words, "stop!" Adl's point seems to be "with leaders like this, who needs enemies".
An interesting peek inside the world's foremost terror organization. But with all the difficulties and set-backs, it's important to remember that a) they are the enemy, b) they declared war on us and c) their intent isn't to quit until we all "believe in Allah".
That brings us to d) they all need to be killed or captured. They're serious about their goals, and we need to be equally as serious about ours. We also need to remember we're at war (something which a certain segement of our population seems more than willing to conveniently forget if there's political gains to be made by doing so), it's going to be a long war and winning depends on our willingness to see it through. Patience is not one of our virtues as a nation, but it is one which is critical to winning this war.
1. We need to drop the term "War on Terror." It is an Orwellian term that is ultimately meaningless. War cannot be waged against an abstract noun, whether it be Drugs, Poverty, Injustice, etc. War can only be waged against a group of people, and in this case, as you correctly point out, it is al-Qaeda. Words matter.
2. This may very well be a long war, but once the perpetuators of 9/11 have been caught or killed, this war will be over, as per the AUMF:
"the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."
Otherwise Congress will need to declare a new one.