I know everyone is focused on Donald J. Trump Jr. I am not. There’s nothing there, and certainly all this hoopla about treason is nonsense. If that were the case, then Barack Obama is guilty of treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, by saying to Russia and Vladimir Putin, that he would have more flexibility after his reelection. Now, that represents premeditated treason, but I digress. Donald Trump Jr. is a fella who did a really dumb thing, evidencing a lack of adult decision-making skills. End of story. An over zealous kid trying to do something to impress Dad who was running for president. Move along, nothing further to see here, as you cannot criminalize doing a stupid thing…if that were the case, lots of progressive socialists would be in jail.But the real purpose of this missive is to focus us on to what IS important, and quite underreported by the liberal progressive media, et al.
As reported by Fox News, “The Pentagon was trying to confirm fresh reports Tuesday that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, as the terror group teeters on the brink of defeat in Iraq and prepares to make its final stand in the Syrian city of Raqqa.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – which has had a good record in reporting ISIS news – and Iraq’s Al Sumaria News were the two outlets primarily reporting the most-wanted terrorist’s death, with both citing sources inside ISIS.
Baghdadi had been rumored to be killed numerous times since his rise to infamy as the so-called “Caliph” of ISIS-controlled territory – only for those reports to eventually be proven wrong. In June, Baghdadi was reportedly killed by Russian forces; however, no conclusive proof ever emerged of the Islamist’s death. Adding to the speculation, President Trump tweeted ambiguously around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday: “Big wins against ISIS!” It was unclear if Trump was referring to the possible death of Baghdadi or another event, such as the fall of ISIS-held Mosul to U.S.-backed troops.”
Let me try and be the adult in the room and provide you an analysis. First of all, President Trump had best be careful, and once again, tamper down his tweeting enthusiasm. If there’s anything he should have learned, it’s the faux pas of President George Bush with his “Mission Accomplished” moment.Now is not the time to issue gloating social media messages; it’s the time to confer with your national security team and ascertain, what next? As for the news, true or false, about the death and demise of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the long strategy perspective, it doesn’t matter. No, I’m not trying to be some “kill joy” but think about it this way, did the death of Osama bin Laden bring an end to the global Islamic jihad?
Strategic visionary leadership doesn’t focus in the moment, but asks the harder question of what must we consider and prepare for next? It’s a matter of being proactive and seeking to deny the enemy their next courses of action…not just reacting, or tweeting.
Our failure here in America is that we concentrate on groups, instead of developing a strategic plan to defeat the spreading militant Islamic jihadist ideology. It is a cancer that has metastasized across the globe and has redefined the boundaries and borders of the battlefield…just ask the folks in Mancheste,r England, the Pulse nightclub, or the airport in Brussels.Instead of the ongoing game of “whack-a-mole” we need a concentrated strategy that denies this enemy from establishing sanctuaries. Finally we are reducing the territorial gains of the Islamic State, but it will still exist. Therefore, it is imperative to interdict any flow of materiel and resource support as well as a dedicated information operation campaign to undermine the ideology of Islamic jihadism…which is very difficult when you have a country like Canada paying off a jihadist $7 million. The Canadian taxpayer should demand a full accounting and audit of every penny that goes to Omar Khadr. ISIS will become a decentralized operation, but it still has a base of operations in Libya. The concern about the Islamic State is that it will seek to promulgate its savagery and calls to more acts of barbarism via online means. Just ask yourself, how the hell can it be that al-Qaeda has an online magazine? Simply put, we ain’t winning when the enemy has time to produce a freaking magazine and distribute it.
At the operational and tactical levels of warfare is where our men and women on the ground can focus on individual groups. President Trump, the National Security Advisor, and the SecDef should not be talking in terms of individual respective groups. They should be talking in terms of the global Islamic jihadist movement, and what is the strategy to defeat it. Back in the January-February 2016 edition of Military Review, the Professional Journal of the U.S. Army, I presented a strategy to combat Islamic jihadism, you can read it here. I’m truly glad our men and women in uniform were integral is eliminating the Islamic State presence in Mosul and are doing well in pressuring ISIS in their declared capitol, Raqqa, Syria — it should have never gotten to this point. I’m glad we’ve made the adjustments with our rules of engagement to take the fight to the enemy. Previously our combat air operations were required to clear targets and engagement all the way back to the White House; that was not a good strategy in Vietnam, and proved ineffective again.
I will continue to recommend the Trump administration deliver a prime time national security strategy address to the American people, which the world will view, as well as our adversaries and enemies. National security strategy cannot be done via 140 characters in social media. It has to be well thought through and precise, but allow flexibility because the enemy does have a vote.Yes, we’re having success, but there’s a wholehearted difference between tactical successes and strategic victory. We are embroiled in an ideological conflagration with Islamic jihadism. It’s what they term the struggle between Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb: that is their strategic vision, with which we’ve had almost 1400 years of battles. Killing al-Baghdadi, bin Laden, or winning back Mosul are tactical wins, but do not portend to be strategic successes, unless we have a large combination of those tactical wins that deny the enemy their strategic goals and objectives…which they kindly tell us.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]